COLUMBIA (WACH)--The Affordable Care Act has been up and running for a week, allowing consumers to buy heath care policies across the nation.
However, many still have some unanswered questions. WACH Fox reached out to health professionals York Glover with the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers and Kevin McIver of the Dorn VA Medical Center to answer viewers' questions on the policy.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the ACA and healthcare marketplace:
Q: Can I buy health insurance through the marketplace if I have a previous health problem?
A: Glover, "Yes you can, any pre-existing conditions are still covered. So it's not a problem. There are people who have been diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, not a problem at all."
Q: If I have Medicare, can I purchase a plan
A: Glover, "You can, you're not required to. Some people wonder if I have Medicare am I still going to get fined? You're not going to get fined but I would look at supplemental policies to see if your Medicare/Medicaid could be your supplemental coverage.
Q: When can people apply or buy in the marketplace?
A: Glover, "Between now and December 15th you can apply and enroll. Once your first premium payment has been received, your coverage starts January 1st. If you apply after December 15th it won't start January 1st, it will start February 1st. March 31st is the deadline that you can apply, open enrollmen was just extended.
Q: What are some misconceptions people have about the Affordable Care Act?
A: Glover, "Most people are concerned about the fine. The fine is either $95 or 1% of your annual income. Whichever greater, which is probably going to be the 1%."
Here are two questions posted from our WACH Fox Facebook page:
Q: How do you pay for it if you have no income but your spouse draws Social Security so you can't get any kind of state or government help?
A: Glover, "Remember when it comes to the Affordable Care Act you're looking at family size and household income. If you're not drawing any family income you may actually opt-out. So the best thing to do is to meet with a navigator or a couselor and allow us to help you."
Q: I currently have individual health insurance that my company pays for, but since it is individual coverage could I look into the Affordable Care Act and possibly get one of their insurance policies to save me money?
A: Glover, "Yes. The company is paying for your individual coverage."
Q: How does this affect veterans?
A: McIver, "If a veteran is already enrolled in the federal healthcare system there is no change. So you're already enrolled because you already have healthcare through the VA. If you don't have healthcare through the VA, you need to go on the open marketplace and apply."
The Richland Public Library will host two educational forums, October 22nd and November 14th.