Thursday, September 26, 2013

Anthem BlueCross Wants to Make Health Insurance Exchanges Easier for Families *Sponsored*

Whatever your politics, I'm sure you have questions about the upcoming enactment of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

With all the jargon being thrown around, it's hard to sift through what everything actually means—and what insurance companies will soon be responsible for, once open enrollment starts Oct. 1.

Anthem BlueCross wants to make the transition easier.

Some of the key goals for the health-reform act were to:

* allow Americans to get health insurance through the marketplace, or exchanges, if they weren't covered by their employer
* provide government subsidies to people who needed help paying for coverage
* provide assistance through Medicaid, if subsidies weren't enough

And with women making 80% of healthcare decisions in the home, it's important for moms to be in the know and be a strong advocate for their family's health care.

While there's a lot to consider financially and logistically, keep in mind that having insurance is critically important. A three-day hospital stay can cost, on average, $30,000, according to studies by health-care companies WellPoint and Kaiser.

If you end up opting out of employer-provided insurance and Medicaid and want to find affordable insurance so, if anything, you don't incur the tax penalty for not having insurance (starting at 1% of income or $95 individual/$285 per family, depending on which is greater), you will be entering the exchange, or marketplace.

Later this fall, Anthem will have online tools that will help families determine which health plan is right for them. There will be family checklist and a subsidy estimator tools to help navigate options and costs, respectively.

While all plans will offer essential benefits, including:

* emergency services
* maternity and newborn care
* mental health and substance use disorder services
* preventive and wellness services
* chronic disease management
* and pediatric services, including oral and vision care

the plans will come in tiered packages. At Anthem, there will be a range of packages, from Bronze— which will have the lowest monthly premium and will cover 60% of expected costs—to Platinum, which will have the highest monthly premium and will cover 90% of expected costs.

Some exchange/marketplace dates to keep in mind:

* Enrollment begins: Oct. 1, 2013
* Enrollment ends: March 31, 2014
* Coverage begins: Jan. 1, 2014 (if enrolled by Dec. 15, 2013)

Good luck with the transition, and for more information on this process, visit Anthem BlueCross or

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, for which I was compensated, in partnership with The Motherhood and Anthem BlueCross BlueShield. The views expressed in this post, however, are my own.)

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