Health Care Reform Resources
Passage of the Affordable Care Act marked a defining moment in our country where we decided that access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans should be a right, not a privilege. The law aims to expand health insurance to the uninsured, reduce the skyrocketing costs of health care, hold insurance companies more accountable, strengthen Medicare, and improve the quality of care available to all Americans.
Since the act’s passage, nearly 1.5 million Wisconsinites have received free preventive services, 43,000 young people in the state have been able to stay on their parents’ health care plan, and Wisconsin community health centers have received more than $43 million to expand and improve their services.
Because of the law, families in Wisconsin will no longer have to worry that a pre-existing condition will prevent them from receiving health insurance, and women in Wisconsin don’t have to worry about higher premiums merely due to their gender.
Right now, Wisconsinites and Wisconsin small business owners who are without health insurance, or are looking for a better plan, can enroll in the new online Health Insurance Marketplace and shop for a health insurance plan that fits their needs and their budgets. Open enrollment in the Marketplace started Oct 1, with coverage starting as soon as Jan 1, 2014. I understand that as the historic new health care law is implemented, many of you will have questions on how it will work and how it will affect you or your business. This site is meant to help answer your questions and provide a variety of resources on the new law. As always, you should never hesitate to contact my office in Madison at 608-258-9800 with your questions or concerns.
Signing Up through the Health Insurance Marketplace
County Resources on the Affordable Care Act
Top Questions on the Affordable Care Act
What is a Health Insurance Marketplace?
Health Insurance Marketplaces are where individuals and small businesses can compare and purchase different private health insurance plans based on their individual needs. On the Health Insurance Marketplaces, people can directly compare plans on the basis of price, benefits, quality, and other factors.
Who can enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace?
The new Marketplaces are designed for Americans who buy their own coverage or currently have no coverage at all.
I have health insurance from my employer, and I like the plan that I have. Do I get to keep it?
You can keep the plan you have, and will enjoy many of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, including the prohibiting of insurance companies from dropping your coverage just because you got sick.
Am I eligible for lower costs on my monthly health premiums?
You may qualify for a lower monthly premium; these savings depend on your income and family size. Click here to learn more about how to calculate your income and to check if you are eligible for the tax credits available through the law.
I’ve heard that a Navigator can help me with the new law. What is a Navigator and how can I find one?
The ACA requires every Health Insurance Marketplace to establish a Navigator program to help consumers and small businesses understand their new coverage options and find affordable coverage that meets their health care needs. Navigators must submit a plan for ensuring they remain free from conflicts of interest. Learn about the Navigators in Wisconsin: http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Marketplaces/Downloads/navigator-list-8-15-2013.pdf
Resources for Individuals & Families
TOLL-FREE Helpline for Individuals 1-800-318-2596: There is now a toll-free consumer call center to answer questions on the upcoming Marketplaces, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to English and Spanish, the call center provides assistance in more than 150 languages through an interpretation and translation service.
Resources for Businesses & Small Businesses
Helpline for Small Business (SHOP) (800) 706-7893
Quick Links for Small Businesses:
Resources for Seniors
Resources for Women
Resources for Young People
How the Health Care Law Benefits Young Adults and Children
Quick Links for Young People
Recursos en Español
Organizations to Reach Out to for Additional Information:
- List of State Advocacy Directors for American Heart Association
- List of State Advocacy Directors for American Diabetes Association
- List of State Directors and State Affordable Care Act Contacts for AARP