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View Diary: OH SNAP! The Smackdown Will Commence Shortly (175 comments)

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  •  Heading to a Health Care Town Hall in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice Olson, mdmslle, Amber6541

    Indianapolis this evening for those of us in Indiana's high risk pool, which will go away January 2014.

    I'll be interested to hear what our options will be. I'll report back after the meeting if I learn anything interesting.

    "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

    by annan on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 11:35:38 AM PDT

    •  Thanks. I look forward to you update annan. nt (1+ / 0-)
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    •  Just returned from a 2-hour Town Hall (0+ / 0-)

      in Indianapolis, presented by the Executive Director of the Indiana Comprehensive Health Insurance Association (ICHIA). There were several hundred Hoosiers gathered in the main public library to hear what he had to say tonight.

      This probably deserves a diary of its own, but I'll post to this audience first ...

      OH SNAP! First let me say that the presentation was excellent but during the Q & A I was reminded that I am still in Indiana and the smackdown will DEFINITELY commence shortly. ;-)

      I have an insurance adjusted pre-existing condition (completely under control but hey ...) so I have been participating in ICHIA's high risk pool for the past 10 years and I was interested in hearing about the transition plans.

      My experience with ICHIA over the years has been terrific. After hearing the Executive Director of this not-for-profit organization speak tonight I can understand why.

      ICHIA was established by the State of Indiana 30+ years ago and (according to the director) been one of the most successful programs of its kind in the country. Out of 30+ state programs, we are one of only 2  with no annual or life-time benefit caps. I learned tonight that our premiums make up 50% of the annual operating costs, with the remaining 50% covered by the state (75%) and the insurance provider (Anthem 25%). There are 7300 Hoosiers covered by ICHIA, including 2200 children in the Ryan White program.

      So what else did I learn that you would be interested in?

      Well, there's a lot of misinformation out there and it was apparent tonight. Whenever the words "federal program" or "government program" were uttered by the presenter there was a collective groan or derisive laughter from the audience.

      That irritated the tweet out of me. Looking around the room, thinking ... hey! aren't we ALL beneficiaries of an excellent government program? A PROGRESSIVE, forward thinking, government program?? Right now? So ... YES, the smack down is coming. And how do I know for sure? Well, here are the key take-aways:

      The ACA is a massive program and details are still being worked out.

      They THiNK that the individual plans will be available in January 2014 but there is a contingency plan for ICHIA to continue if necessary.

      There is only 1 criteria for participation: you must be a US citizen (yes, he really said that!).

      There are only 3 criteria for underwriting: age, geographic location and whether or not you smoke. (Gender and pre-existing conditions are OUT)

      NO MORE JUNK INSURANCE: The ACA mandates Essential Health Care Benefits as a baseline. You MAY choose add-on products, but no more junk.

      No more exclusions or life-time caps.

      Open enrollment will begin October 1, 2013. The Open enrollment period will extend through March 31, 2013.

      If you have a "life event" (marriage, death, major move) the open enrollment period is extended.

      There will be subsidies (actual pass-through to the insurance company) for low income (up to 400% of poverty level) and tax credits for those whose income is high enough to pay taxes.

      The main take-away: be proactive! Do you homework! Read up on things!

      Go to to get up-to-date info for your state.

      Three types of "helpers" will be available at no charge to help you choose your plan: Navigators, Assistors and Certified Application Counselors. They are being trained now. If you have a good broker, talk to them now!

      Overall? This is good government at work and I'm happy.

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:34:17 PM PDT

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