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Health Care Reform - - What You Need to Know
 
Big changes are taking place in health care
The Affordable Care Act, the new law (also known as “Obamacare”), is a federal law that makes health insurance coverage available to the millions of people who did not have health insurance coverage.
Under the new law, mostly everyone who lives in the United States must have a health plan. You can enroll starting October 1, 2013. Coverage begins January 1, 2014 and by March 31, 2014, everyone must have health insurance coverage, or you will have to pay a new tax.
The new Health Insurance Marketplace is where you will be able to go online and shop for health insurance.
Why do you need health insurance?
Let’s face it, no one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need medical care at some point. Health insurance covers these costs and protects you from very high expenses. Under the new law, health insurance will be purchased directly from an insurance company that you choose. After you enroll, you will pay a monthly bill to keep your coverage and the insurance will pay the bills for some of your medical services such as a doctor visit, prescriptions or hospital care.
How will I pay for health insurance?
Some people will get help paying for their new insurance, depending upon where you live, family size and income.
What if I already have insurance?
  •   If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it. You're considered covered. You may be able to change to Marketplace coverage if you want to, but check with your employer.
  •    If you have Medicaid and buy any other type of health insurance, you may lose your Medicaid benefits. Best to check with your Medicaid health plan first.
  •   If you have Medicare, your Medicare benefits will continue.
 
Where can I buy health insurance?
Starting October 1, 2013, you can buy health insurance from the new Health Insurance Marketplace and many insurers such as Highmark, will be offering coverage that begins in 2014.
How will I know what type of health plan to choose?
There will be four levels of plans called “metal plans”, because their names are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. While they will offer the same essential benefits (these include emergency services, hospitalization, maternity services, newborn care and more), some plans may cost more on a monthly basis and you may have to pay more out-of-pocket expenses.
Will I get turned down because of my health?
Starting in 2014, the new law requires insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing health conditions.
How can I learn more?
Click: https://www.highmarkonhealthreform.com Highmark can be a great resource for you.
Also, the Federal Government Health Care Reform website has a lot of videos and easy to understand information: www.healthcare.gov
Visit:  Stop by a Highmark Direct Retail Store to talk one-on-one with a licensed insurance consultant who can answer all your questions about Health Care Reform. For a store near you, log on to www.highmarkdirect.com and click on the “Find a Location” tab.
Call: 
Before October 1:    Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield at 1-800-876-7639
After October 1: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield at 1 -877-959-2550
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