The Final Countdown

Oct. 1 is only a little over two months away and everyone is watching the clock. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough has asked President Obama’s top aides to carry a calendar to keep track of this important date, which is when uninsured Americans can go to and sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare”).  New Jersey’s health insurance exchange (the website) will be federally run, and we expect that when uninsured New Jerseyans access on Oct. 1, we will see five health plans offered at competitive prices to individuals and small businesses.

There are numerous efforts underway to promote enrollment both locally and nationally. The initial open enrollment period is from Oct. 1 - March 31, 2014, with coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. The White House even has a war room devoted to this rollout. To help prepare for the expected influx of additional patients, about $150 million was given to federally qualified health centers to help administer the rollout. NJHA is working with its regional Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services office to ensure that we are doing all we can to help facilitate enrollment, including applying for a grant to hire “Navigators” who will assist people with the enrollment process.

ObamaCare contains both challenges and promise. The challenges are many, and as always, our industry is rising to face them.  We need to embrace the promise of 32 million newly insured Americans and promote and support it. Many people are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that the exchange works, and NJHA is making this a priority as well. We will continue to provide up-to-date information as well as tools and resources for healthcare providers and consumers to help them through this new process.

Written by Betsy Ryan at 00:00

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