If you are in charge of administering group benefits in Connecticut, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Key parts of the Affordable Care Act take effect on January 1, 2014, at which time many employees will have a new way to purchase health insurance—via a Health Insurance Marketplace. The marketplace is intended to help people locate coverage that meets both their needs as well as fits their budget, providing an online exchange where they can compare a variety of health insurance options. Major design and functional problems with the health insurance website have consumers and employers alike confused and upset, wondering how long it will be before the online enrollment system is corrected and in some cases, questioning whether the system will even be accessed by significant numbers. Some reports indicated that fewer than 200 people in the state had enrolled via the website after the first few days of the site going live.
Which way to turn?
Employees whose companies offer coverage that meets certain standards may find themselves better off by remaining enrolled in their employer’s health plan. Yet figuring out whether one will have the best coverage at the best price from their employer or the Marketplace—and what exactly they are eligible for—is difficult to understand. And bottom line, the health care reform law will soon require that almost every American be covered by a health insurance plan or face a penalty tax. Considering all of this, it’s more important than ever before to seek the guidance of a professional insurance agent.
The deadline to apply for coverage is approaching
White House officials say that changes may be in the works for coverage signups, with dates that are confusing at best. Due to the problems with the government website, the administration just announced it has pushed back the deadline to sign from December 15, 2013 to March 31, 2014 to sign up for coverage that takes effect on January 1, 2014. To address this contradiction, officials say they will be offering more policy directions and a grace period so that consumers who have not signed up by the deadline will not be hit with a penalty. Why wait for impersonal (not to mention confusing) messages from the government, though, when you can get personalized advice about Group benefits in Connecticut from your own insurance agent? Call your agent today to learn more about the best options to meet your own and your family’s needs.