By the flurry of news releases in my inbox about the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, it seems the time is now to start really looking into how this new healthcare law is going to affect me.
I started with a short refresher course — I'll call it Obamacare 101 — that the Kaiser Family Foundation put out. It's a cute 7-minute YouToons video that explains the history of the act, and how it will affect you. Even if you're familiar with the law, it's definitely worth a peek just to have a general overview.
To get there, just go to kff.org and it's on their homepage, titled, "Watch the YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare." There are also has some valuable links through the YouToons link, such as a timeline, frequently asked questions, and a subsidy calculator.
I learned a few things from the video. For example, it says, "Most people buying insurance will end up paying less." That's because the federal government will subsidize premiums for people who make up to 400 percent of the poverty level, or $78,120 for a family of three. Here in Eastern Washington, that's a pretty healthy income.
It also says open enrollment is from Oct. 1 through March 31, and tells us, "Now's the time to figure it out and get on the path to setting yourself up for the best insurance at the best price."
Even before watching the video, I knew that I would not be eligible for insurance through Washington's new Health Insurance Exchange, because I already get insurance through my employer, The Wenatchee World.
But my husband and son should be eligible. They're currently insured, too, but through my policy. It may just be worth my while to shop around for insurance on the exchange, which is precisely what I plan to do. I'm assuming I'll be allowed to take them off my plan, and put them on another plan, if I find one through the exchange that I like better.
So, the next question is, just how do we do that?
Check in with me later this week as I explore that question.