Many of you probably got this email from Senator Harkin’s office. If not, I am sure there will be some information of interest in here. Remember, the ACA exchanges are to be set up and ready to go by October 1. Iowa via Gov. Branstad chose to let the Dept. of Health and Human Services set up our exchange.
Because of your interest in health insurance reform, I would like to take a moment update you about an important development in the implementation of the landmark health reform law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
As you may know, the Health Insurance Marketplace is an integral component of the ACA that offers consumers and small businesses a new way to shop for affordable, comprehensive health insurance. Open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace will begin on October 1, 2013, with plan coverage beginning January 1, 2014. This is great news for all Iowans and small businesses, but it is particularly positive for the 255,072 non-elderly Iowans who are currently uninsured – 92 percent of whom may qualify for either tax credits to purchase coverage through the Marketplace or for expanded Medicaid.
To prepare consumers for the upcoming enrollment period, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched new Marketplace educational tools at http://www.healthcare.gov. This website allows visitors to select criteria that fits their income levels and health needs, and receive detailed information about personalized health coverage options available to them. The website also provides information about ACA consumer protections already in effect, including:
* Access to affordable prescription drugs for seniors, which in 2012 saved 39,260 Iowans over $25.8 million, an average of $685 per Medicare beneficiary;
* Coverage for preventive services with no deductible or co-pay, available to 801,000 Iowans with private insurance;
* New coverage options for young adults under age 26;
* No lifetime limits on health benefits;
* No discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions, a protection that will be extended to all adults on January 1, 2014.
In addition, the new website includes a database of frequently-asked-questions about the law in an easy-to-understand, straightforward format. The Marketplace website also features a 24-hour toll-free call center (1-800-318-2596), online chat, and can provide information to consumers and small businesses in over 150 languages. Representatives are also equipped to assist the hearing impaired through TTY/TDD technology (1-855-889-4325).
I encourage you to visit this website to learn more about the open enrollment period and find out more about the benefits already in place.
United States Senator