The Insured, the Uninsured and the Underinsured

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The New York Times has published an article that expresses investigators’ concerns that the health insurance Marketplace, located online at www.healthcare.gov, might not be ready to handle more citizens who are ready to sign up for the Affordable Care Act nor those who are wanting to make changes to their existing coverage this fall.

medical_billing_advocate-130According to the article, entitled “Investigators Warn of Possible Perils this Fall with Health Site”, the site administrators are behind schedule with making changes deemed necessary by administration staff. The investigators are from an independent branch of congress, the Government Accountability Office.

However, the white house has released comments that there will be few problems with citizens signing up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. A new team has been working on the website, led by secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell. An additional team, Accenture Federal Services, has been recruited to help speed the site’s progress.

If you are one of the many Americans who did not participate in the ACA and still remain uncovered by a federally approved health insurance plan, your chance to enroll in the federal healthcare Marketplace will begin November 15, 2014. Hopefully, all kinks will be worked out of the system by then.

For those who qualify for the ACA’s less expensive plans, participation in the ACA could mean financial savings if those people are switching from a traditional health insurance plan outside of the ACA. However, for those who do not qualify for the less expensive plans, having to pay for some of the more expensive health insurance plans isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s an extreme financial burden.

Add to this that many of the more affordable plans leave the individual with a high-dollar deductible and co-pay and you have a recipe for financial disaster.

The underinsured problem in the nation is rising drastically. An underinsured person is someone who has inadequate insurance coverage. In 2012, premiums rose 4% for families, according to the 2013 Employer health Benefits Survey, performed by the Kaiser Family Foundation. From 2003 to 2013, the premium for family health insurance coverage increased approximately 80%.

The Commonwealth Fund, a private research foundation, reported in 2012 that 2 out of 5 insured adults were having a difficult time paying their medical bills, had medical bills that were in collections status, and had to make financial changes in order to pay their medical bills. Since then, Americans report that even with health insurance coverage, they feel that they are underinsured. And many times, they are.

The moral of the story: Don’t assume that you are safe from getting into financial trouble with medical bills even if you have health insurance. In this age of overly inflated healthcare costs, we certainly do not advocate going without health insurance, but health insurance isn’t going to prevent you from completely staying clear of the burden of medical bills.

If you are struggling with excessive medical debt – whether you carry health insurance or not – please feel free to contact our experienced, professional medical billing advocates. We can help keep you out of financial difficulties before you get in too deep.

 

Filed under: Resources, Obamacare, MBAA Education Center, Affordable Care Act

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