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The Affordable Care Act, often (and usually derisively) known as Obamacare, has gotten off to a rather rocky start, with technical glitches plaguing the website meant to smoothly enable insurance seekers to enroll in affordable health care programs. Add to these tech troubles the fact that many congressmen, state-level elected officials and private citizens across the country loathe the ACA and will do whatever they can to destroy it, and you get a program ripe for the attacking. It is a program with much at stake in the realms politics, and, of course, the medical field, but also for businesses, both those providing insurance and the insurers caregivers themselves.
5 Open Enrollment Began on October 1
The Health Insurance Marketplace, one of the signature aspects of the ACA, was opened up for enrollment on October 1st, 2013. The Marketplace offers insurance seekers the chance to compare multiple health insurance plans and to see which other programs the uninsured may qualify for, such as Medicaid. When it opened up back in October, it was meant to help people quickly and easily sign up for coverage, but far fewer people than expected enrolled, and those that did (or tried to) were met with huge technical difficulties.
4 The Number of Enrollees Thus Far Has Been Painfully Low
If a business had a grand opening and only 20% of the customers it had anticipated showed up, that place would be closing back down quite quickly. Fortunately the ACA is backed by the government, so it has some breathing room. Which is good as only around 105,000 people have signed up for new plans so far, and only around 27,000 of those did so directly via the federal government’s site, HealthCare.gov. Most enrollees have used state marketplaces.
3 Will Covered Individuals See Existing Plans Ended?
Many people already paying for coverage plans they’d prefer to keep have been outraged to learn that many of these plans would cease, replaced with new options created under the ACA. But what many individuals don’t know (and what many politicians have obfuscated) is the fact that it’s not Obamacare forcing these plans to halt, it is the companies that provide the choosing to end certain plans either as a business decision or else to come into compliance with the new law. Most who see an existing plan shutdown will actually have options for better coverage at better prices under the ACA.
2 Most Small Businesses in America Will be Unaffected by the ACA
Contrary to what many politicians and pundits have declared, the vast majority of American businesses will be unaffected by Obamacare in all but one mundane way: all businesses are required to distribute a simple document informing their employees of healthcare plans available to them thanks to the new law. For any business with fewer than 50 employees, that is the extent of the ACA’s influence. And the vast majority of U.S. small businesses have fewer than 50 employees; in fact, most small businesses in this country have one employee.
1 The President Is Set to Offer a Reprieve to Those “Losing” Their Plans
Mr. Obama is due to announce the cessation of termination of existing plans for another year today. Those that resented losing the insurance they already have will not be forced out of their existing plans because the government is going to temporarily allow plans that do not meet the new and improved standards of the ACA to persist for one more year. Ideally, that will be enough time to convince people that the plans they are “losing” will be replaced with superior and more affordable coverage.