Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Taking it to the Polls

COP 24/7 Special
Health Exchanges 101: What you need to Know and Why

As the election clock ticks down to the wire, one of the most significant measures to come through the Obama administration was the Affordable Healthcare Act ( ACA) commonly referred to as "Obamacare." This mandate has already started some implementation with more it roll out come 2014 and beyond. What continues to amaze me is the fact that some folks for some odd reason think that this will be "free" insurance of some sort. Exactly what will be created are "exchanges" that will allow citizens to search for lowered cost insurance products. For those who demonstrate that they are in need there will be subsidies available meanwhile others may access medicaid or other health care outlets. Let's be clear, there will be some deductibles to pay, premiums and other associated cost including a tiered "penalty fee" for those who decide not to participate in the programs. Luckily Arkansas is well underway on formulating plans and making decisions on operations and rules of the program. Unfortunately as meetings have been taking place, it seems that despite some attempts, organizers have not seen an influx of those "uninsured" persons or other stakeholders whom should voice their observations about the "nuts and bolts" of the proposed exchanges. One key element of the exchanges that citizens should be concerned are the "essential health benefits." These benefits will be the core services ranging from mental health services to home health providers. Currently the EHB's of Arkansas' plan are most likely under review and ultimately will be released as November deadlines loom for states to confirm their status. At this point, Arkansas appears to actually be ahead of other states in this process but all is not confirmed due to "ebbing and flowing" of federal instructions. COP 24/7 has learned that in January 2013 there will be a "request for applications" for local community based organizations to apply to be apart of the navigating system. For your consideration, this forum offers the following as a means to continuing to clarify what's involved with "exchanges" and how they could affect you! Stay tune to this platform for the latest breaking news and updates.


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