ACA's impact on the uninsured - Tucson News Now

ACA's impact on the uninsured

Posted: Updated:
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A key portion of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, rolls out October 1, allowing most Arizonans without health insurance to sign up.

There are estimates that nearly one million Arizonans will qualify either for coverage through Medicaid expansion or to buy a subsidized health plan on the new Arizona Marketplace. 

For those who sign up by December 15, coverage begins January 1.

Those who already are covered through private insurance at work, for instance, or public insurance such as Medicare and Medicaid don't have to do anything.

Nothing changes for them.

"People who have health insurance now--through a large employer, people on Medicare, people currently on Medicaid--they aren't affected by any of these changes. It's really for those people who don't have health insurance. Often it's for the working poor who work for a small business that doesn't provide health insurance," says Dr. Daniel Derksen, Director of the Center for Rural Health at the University of Arizona College of Public Health. 

There will be a lot of time to sign up.

The signup period will run from October 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014. 

That will give the uninsured time to figure out which of the 100 plans, or so, offered in Arizona is the right one for them.

As time goes on, there will be more people trained and available to give free assistance to help determine eligibility and to help people choose a plan.

Depending on the plan, there might be a higher deductible or a higher premium.

No matter the plan on the marketplace, every one of them has to offer certain essential health benefits.

"Whether you need to go to the emergency department for prenatal services if you're pregnant, if you needed to be hospitalized, if you needed behavioral health services, those must be covered by the qualified health plans offered in the new marketplace," Derksen says.

To get to the federal Affordable Care Act website, click here.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow