A Site Helping Consumers Understand Health Care Reform

This new site was established to help comsumers understand what the reform means for them.  This isn’t a goverment website!

The Health Care and You Coalition is made up of some of our country’s leading organizations that represent consumers, patients, physicians, nurses, hospitals and pharmacists. The goal is to provide the public with easy-to-understand information about the health care law. HealthCareandYou.org is a place where individuals, families, small business owners and health care professionals can turn for help in understanding the specific law and how it impacts them.

A New York Times article by Anahad O’Connor states, One poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation last week found that about 20 percent of people believe — wrongly — that the law was killed when House Republicans voted to repeal it earlier this year, and 26 percent said they didn’t know enough to say whether it was still the law or not. While a bill to repeal the act was approved by House Republicans in January, it was seen as largely symbolic since a similar measure would be unlikely to clear the Democratic-controlled Senate. President Obama has also said he would veto the bill if it reached his desk.

This is a valuable resource for every American.  Please share with someone you love.

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The Latest Healthcare Reform Update

IRS Delays W-2 Health Cost Reporting Requirement

The Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday that it will waive for one year a health care reform law requirement that employers report the cost of coverage on employees’ W-2 wage and income statements. Under the relief, health care cost information will have to be reported on the 2012 W-2s, which are issued in 2013.  

The IRS also confirmed that the W-2 reporting requirement is only for informational purposes and the amounts that are reported will not be taxable

How Could Mid-Term Elections Impact Health Care Reform

A new AP poll finds that Americans who think the Health Care Reform law should have done more outnumber those who think the government should stay out of health care by 2-to-1. 

The poll found that about four in 10 adults think the new law did not go far enough to change the health care system, regardless of whether they support the law, oppose it or remain neutral. On the other side, about one in five say they oppose the law because they think the federal government should not be involved in health care at all.

The AP poll was conducted by Stanford University with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Overall, 30 percent favored the legislation, while 40 percent opposed it, and another 30 percent remained neutral.

With several of the reforms new provisions going into effect last week, House Republicans unveiled its 21-page “Pledge to America”  a blueprint for what the party would do should it retake one or both houses of Congress, the GOP lays out its own ideas for improving health care. The document proposes to do away with health care mandates on small businesses, allow the purchase of health care across state lines and enact “real medical liability reform.”

 

It would seem unlikely that the GOP would accomplish appealing the reform in its entirety even if they gained control of the House and Senate.  But we can expect significant changes to the reform for the changes expected to take place in 2014.

New York and New Jersey Establish “High Risk Health Insurance Pools”

The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which together comprise the new federal health care reform law, were signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, and March 30, 2010, respectively. The health care reform law contains a provision for the establishment of a temporary statewide insurance pool for high risk individuals.  Coverage through this program will be available until January 2014 when more health insurance coverage options become available through a Health Insurance Exchange.

New York

This new program is called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) and will be available throughout the country. In New York State, the PCIP plan is called the NY Bridge Plan, and is administered by Group Health Incorporated (GHI), an EmblemHealth company.

The NY Bridge Plan provides health coverage to individuals who have a pre-existing medical condition, have not had insurance for six months, and who are legal residents.

The NY Bridge Plan covers a broad range of health benefits, including primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs.  Eligibility is not based on income and the Plan does not charge a higher premium because of a pre-existing condition.  Coverage for a pre-existing condition begins right away, with no waiting period.

Applications are available now with coverage effective October 1, 2010. for more information go to NY Bridge Plan

New Jersey

NJ Protect is a new health insurance option for uninsured New Jerseyans with pre-existing medical conditions. Coverage through NJ Protect will generally cost less than comparable individual health insurance and offer superior benefits. Because the program is federally subsidized, treatment for pre-existing medical conditions will be covered as of the day a policy goes into effect, and preventive care will be covered at no out-of-pocket cost to the policyholder.

Applications for NJ Protect are now available.  Contact Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NJ to request the application.  Please be sure to explain you are asking about NJ Protect so the customer service representative can quickly provide information for the NJ Protect options.  More more information go to www.HorizonBlue.com/NJProtect

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