Signed into law in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes the way health insurance is provided and paid for in the United States. This page and the links below provide physicians and their staff with information to assist with this transition and to help answer patients’ questions. The page will be updated as new information is available.
Several provisions in the ACA already have been implemented; however, the effective date for one of the biggest changes was October 1, 2013, the date people could begin signing up for health insurance coverage through the new online marketplace at Healthcare.gov or by calling 800.318.2596. (For a timeline of key enrollment dates for ACA and Medicaid, click here.) A list of local resources is available at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/.
Patients who sign up for coverage and make their first premium payment by December 15, 2013, will have health coverage beginning January 1, 2014. The enrollment deadline for coverage in 2014 is March 31, 2014. After that date, patients can sign up for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as health insurance exchanges) only if they lose their job, give birth, are divorced or experience another qualifying life event.
In Wisconsin, the Department of Health Services (DHS) began notifying current Medicaid/BadgerCare beneficiaries in September 2013 that they may be affected by coverage changes. The state is implementing a limited expansion of Medicaid rather than full expansion through the ACA.
DHS sent letters to BadgerCare recipients notifying them that they or someone in their household may no longer be eligible for the state’s Medicaid program because of income-limit changes. The letter directed them to the federal Marketplace to apply for private health insurance. It also sent letters to notify other BadgerCare recipients that they or someone in their household will be required to pay a monthly premium for their coverage effective January 1, 2014. The letters are available on the DHS website.
For more detailed information for physicians and their health care teams about the marketplace, click here.