Benbrook Library / Useful Information

The Affordable Care Act: Be Prepared

Affordable Care Act-flyer

The library is making this flyer about the ACA available to patrons. Thanks to Harris County Public Library for sharing.

“Be prepared,” advise the Boy Scouts. “Be prepared,” warns Mufasa’s nefarious brother, Scar. “Y’all ready for this?” asks the dance group 2 Unlimited.

I come to you today bearing similar sentiments, and while they aren’t accompanied by the cachet of a century of merit badge-earning good deedery, delightful animation, or an infectious musical groove, I suggest heeding my words nonetheless. As it’s been doing slowly but surely since its passage in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as “Obamacare” (derogatorily by some, reverently by others), is bringing about changes to the American healthcare system. Like it or lump it, the ACA is here to stay, and it will soon be reaching a stage in which it may have a more tangible, noticeable effect on your life.  On October 1, 2013, open enrollment will begin for the new Health Insurance Marketplace. According to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, “individuals and small businesses can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans in this new transparent and competitive insurance marketplace.” Coverage will begin on January 1, 2014.

So, depending on your particular situation, the time for action could be nigh. Remember, those without insurance may be subject to fees beginning in 2014, so if you’re currently uninsured, now’s the time to get on the ball*. There’s less need for urgency if you’re already insured, but it could still be worth your time to take a look at the options the new Marketplace will afford you. If you’re part of the group who hates the ACA and wishes it would go away, it would still be wise to read up on how it may affect you. You might as well get to know your enemy, as sheer hateful will has yet to blink something out of existence; believe me, I’ve tried with Ke$ha’s music career.

Regardless of your healthcare situation or your feelings about the ACA, as with just about everything else in life, being prepared is the most prudent course of action of here. For information about the Health Insurance Marketplace, to get answers to your specific healthcare questions, and to learn more about the ACA in general, visit www.healthcare.gov. For a comprehensive ACA timeline, including what’s changing when, click here.

*It’s probably not a good idea to literally get on a ball, because you may fall off and hurt yourself, and you don’t have insurance just yet.

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