The Affordable Care Act and You
What is the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2010. It created benefits for people who do not have insurance or who may not have the right type of policy for their needs. New features include:
- Lowering the cost of coverage
- Eliminating extra charges for adults and children who had pre-existing conditions
- Expanding the coverage for preventive care and for the birth of a child
- Adding prescription coverage
- Allowing young adults to be covered by their parents insurance
Health Insurance Exchanges have been established to help people who do not have insurance find health coverage. You can fill out an online application to tell you if you qualify for private health insurance plans at lower costs based on your household's size and income.
Four levels of plans have been established: Platinium, Gold, Silver and Bronze. These plans all cover the required services, but differ in the amount of monthly premium and the total out-of-pocket costs you pay if you have to use care, such as needing a hospital stay. In general, the lower the monthly premium you pay, the higher the out-of-pocket costs you may need to pay.
What happens to me if I don’t have health insurance?
If you have not applied for health insurance coverage, as of March 31, 2014, you will have to pay a yearly penalty for each member of your household who does not have coverage, estimated at 1% of your annual income.
The good news is that there are new programs and support available for people who do not have insurance, and there are special programs for people with lower incomes.
- Individuals and households with low incomes may also be eligible for Medicaid and/or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- You may sign up for coverage at www.healthcare.gov. This is the main website to allow individuals to apply.
- We want to help you and your family sign up for health insurance. St. Joseph Hospital is a Certified Designated Organization (CDO) for the Affordable Care Act. We have four Certified Application Counselors available to assist patients in the application process during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm). Patients can request assistance at the St. Joseph Hospital Information Desk in the Atrium/Lobby. For additional information or questions, please call (603) 578.5008 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is considered covered?
You are considered to have coverage if you have Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, any job-based plan, any plan you bought for yourself, COBRA, retiree coverage, TRI-care, VA healthcare and some other types of plans.
St. Joseph Hospital and the Health Insurance Exchange
Certain health insurance plans available through the Health Insurance Exchange in New Hampshire provide in-network access to
St. Joseph Healthcare's doctors and services. For example, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield.
If you are purchasing health insurance on the health insurance exchange, selection of the Anthem plan gives you access to St. Joseph Hospital and Physicians and services.