The Individual State Health Insurance Exchanges Are Opening for Business

Among other goals, federal health care reform strives to increase the public’s access to and coverage under affordable and meaningful health insurance. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most U.S. Citizens and residents to have certain minimal health insurance coverage. The individual mandate–the imposition of a penalty upon certain individuals who fail to have acceptable health insurance coverage–goes into effect January 1, 2014.

To advance its individual health insurance coverage objectives, the ACA requires each state to have an individual health insurance marketplace where individuals may purchase health insurance that satisfies the individual responsibility requirement under the ACA. Through these exchanges, individuals may also determine whether they are eligible for certain federal health care programs, determine whether they are eligible for certain premium and cost-sharing credits and shop and compare health insurance policies. It is anticipated that these state individual exchanges will be most beneficial to those individuals who are not eligible for sufficient coverage through an employer and are not eligible to participate in a federal health care program (e.g., Medicare or Medicaid).

It has been reported that December 15, 2013 is the last day to sign up for health insurance coverage through the state individual exchanges and have such coverage go into effect by the January 1, 2014 deadline. Further, it is anticipated that the last day to sign up to obtain insurance through the individual exchanges during 2014 will be March 31, 2014.

The following websites provide excellent reputable objective non-partisan resources for individuals and employers struggling to understand the ACA requirements that go into effect and opportunities (including the individual state exchanges) that become available beginning October 1, 2013:

For employers (including physicians and others within the health care industry) who have questions about the employer-related opportunities and requirements under Federal healthcare reform, please contact Esq. or another HLP attorney at (248) 996-8510.

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