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What Health Advocates Need to Know about the Affordable Care Act
It’s official and it’s not going away. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as healthcare reform, or the ACA, is changing the face of healthcare for every American. The first changes became effective shortly after its passage in 2010. New parts of the law will continue to be implemented until January 1, 2014 when the biggest part of the law, the individual mandate, will ensure (almost) ever American has some form of insurance or government coverage to pay for the care they need. Are you, as an independent health advocate, prepared for those changes? Even further, are you prepared to help your clients and potential clients understand them? Here’s why it’s important you become familiar with the new ACA law – not just for yourself, but for your practice, too: 1. You will be affected. If you don’t already have coverage for yourself, you will be required, through the individual mandate, to purchase it. 2. Your clients will be affected if they don’t already have coverage in just the same ways you will. 3. As if there isn’t already enough confusion about what the ACA will mean to people, confusion is going to grow. And what does confusion about the healthcare law mean to American private professional patient advocates? Yes! it means opportunity! Here are some of the opportunities you may find in this new law: If you can explain the individual mandate to purchase health insurance to those who don’t currently have coverage, helping them understand the resources for purchasing individual insurance, then you can actually market yourself as someone who can help them make their best choice. Beginning in mid-2013 (if not sooner), expect to be overwhelmed with advertising from health insurers who want to capture their corner of that untapped market… everyone of whom will talk about their own plans and no one else’s. But YOU can be the voice of objectivity! Here’s an overview of the individual mandate to purchase health insurance. One of the biggest questions will become whether or not it makes sense for any individual to purchase a high-deductible plan…