Psych Central


Injured Piggy Bank WIth Crutches

I’ve been getting a lot of mail about health care reform.

I did not realize until now that I will be able to shop health insurance on the new Health Insurance Marketplace as early as October 1st.

As you probably remember from my first article on health care reform and the Affordable Care Act, I have been without health insurance for a few years now.

When I got married in 2009, I became uninsurable due to my diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Now, because of the Affordable Care Act and US healthcare reform, health insurance is going to become a right instead of a privilege.

I’ve heard a lot of people disagree with government involvement in health care.

It’s hard for me to not want someone to intervene when I have lost my ability to afford non-generic prescriptions, can’t go to the doctor when I need to, and can’t get medically ordered tests that need to be done.

Especially when I have a serious and chronic condition.

It’s expensive to have bipolar disorder. It’s not only expensive in itself for medication, specialist visits, and therapy, but other conditions often ensue in tandem.

I spent some time over the last couple of days researching the new healthcare laws, because eventually, all of the big, bold marketing text in my inbox and mailbox was starting to take effect.

As I said before, and as was reiterated in my research, one of the greatest things about the Affordable Care Act is mandatory access to what the new mandate calls “essential health benefits”. These benefits include much-needed care such as:

  • Prescriptions
  • Hospitalizations
  • Mental health and substance abuse care
  • Dental and vision care for young children
  • Care for pregnant women and newborns
  • Routine wellness and preventative services for chronic illness

Of course, for people like me (and especially women like me) that have mental health conditions, these are indeed essential benefits that need to be taken care of.

Without being able to care for mental health issues, people like me with bipolar disorder can’t be healthy, or productive.

And it is true: you cannot be denied insurance if you have a chronic illness. Yes, you heard right, everyone who applies is guaranteed to be accepted.

For us sick people, it is truly magical, and it’s almost a reality.

I won’t pay more for my insurance because I have a mental health condition.

How much I pay will depend on things like my geographical location, if I’m buying from work or independently, and the level of health coverage I purchase (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum).

I am also able to apply for subsidies to help pay for health insurance.

I definitely want and need health insurance. But what will the premiums for insurance cost?

Sources report that people that fall under certain income categories will be eligible for reduced co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles to help them pay for their premiums.

And, even though the Health Insurance Marketplace will be available in a little over two months, there is little factual information on the Internet about the new health care premium prices.

What I did learn is that prices are likely to be higher in 2014 than 2015.

So far, overall, I’m still excited. Working at a small business which is not required to provide insurance, and not being able to afford the astronomical prices that would put me on my husband’s insurance plan, I am glad to finally have a shot to afford health care and take care of myself.

Below, I have provided resources that will allow everyone to get more acquainted with the new healthcare laws, especially when it starts to gain momentum in the fall.

Please comment on what you think about US healthcare reform and what impact it will have on you and the country as a whole.

Some questions I have for you:

Do you have a chronic illness and/or mental health condition? Do you currently have health insurance?

What do you think about the new Affordable Care Act laws going into effect?

Do you think they will help or hurt you?

Is this going to be good for the United States and its people as a whole?

See the following resources for more on the Affordable Care Act and Health Care Reform:

Healthcare.gov

WebMD Health Insurance and Reform Guide

SAMHSA Health Reform

Sources used in this article:

Healthcare.gov

WebMD Health Insurance and Reform Guide

Florida Blue Health Care Reform Guide

 

Photo Credit: Creative Commons License Ken Teegardin via Compfight

 


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    Last reviewed: 27 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Dawkins, K. (2013). Healthcare Reform: Online Marketplace Is Coming. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-life/2013/07/healthcare-reform-part-2/

 

 
Recent Comments
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