Medical Moment: Obama Care In Colorado

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Eric C. Johnson, Primary Care Practice Manager, Family Nurse Practitioner

Eric C. Johnson, Primary Care Practice Manager, Board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner

Eric Johnson answers this week’s question: Uninsured? What Does Next Phase of Obamacare Mean to You?

What does this mean for the uninsured or under-insured Coloradoan? 

As 2014 approaches, the platinum provision of the Affordable Care Act is set to take effect. That is the requirement for health insurance coverage for the majority of individuals without existing health insurance. There are no changes slated for persons who currently have health insurance through their employers, Medicare, Veterans Administration, active duty military or Medicaid.

Medicaid will see a significant increase in coverage for many individuals and families that did not qualify previously.  Medicare will not change its eligibility requirements at all.

 So, What does that mean for the uninsured or under-insured Coloradoan?

Approximately 800,000 Coloradoans are uninsured. Starting October 1, the Colorado health insurance exchange will be open for business. As of this writing the Colorado Division of Insurance had approved 242 plans from 13 carriers for inclusion on the Health Exchange. These plans offer a wide range of coverage, from catastrophic to Cadillac. Rates for the different plans will vary depending on the level of coverage chosen, but insurance companies can no longer reject an individual for pre-existing medical conditions, or charge them more. They can however, charge more for smokers, older persons and people living in certain geographical regions.

How does the uninsured individual get insurance?

The process at this point seems fairly straight forward. The entire process is designed to be on-line at Connect for Health Colorado.  The web site has an on-line tool to allow the individual to review available plans, see if they qualify for Federal subsidies and to sign up for a plan.

So, check it out and get insured if you are not!


Editor’s note: The Telluride Medical Center is the only 24-hour emergency facility within 65 miles. As a mountain town in a challenging, remote environment, a thriving medical center is vital to our community’s health.

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