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Affordable insurance is one year away

On October 1, 2013, early enrollment begins in the North Carolina Health Benefits Exchange. Our exchange will likely start as a partnership between the state and federal government.

This means that in one year people without affordable employer insurance will be able to easily shop and compare plan options online. And, for the first time in our state, no one will be charged more due to their gender or prior medical history. And subsidies will be available for many of those who are not able to afford coverage.

The health exchange in North Carolina will do much more than host a website. It will also maintain a call center and scatter people throughout the state to help consumers navigate our reformed insurance system. It will also, depending on eligibility, help people enroll in Medicaid and other public programs.

The Affordable Care Act was not an overhaul of how we provide health care in the state. Hospitals are still independently operated and most people will continue getting insurance through an employer or a private company. But the changes coming in one year do represent a tremendous step toward protecting consumer rights and providing new access to care.

8 Comments

  1. Frances Jenkins

    October 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Adam,
    Are you smoking crack? My friend will have to dismiss ten employees to buy health care to keep his company afloat. Could you research a little more and tell the truth? There are many negative impacts.

  2. AdamL

    October 2, 2012 at 7:23 am

    How many FTEs does he currently employ?

  3. Frank Burns

    October 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    There are advantages to the State of NC to not establish a health exchange. “It protects companies and individuals in the state from tax increases. The law introduces penalties of as much as $3,000 per employee for firms that don’t provide insurance — but only if an employee is getting coverage with the help of a tax credit. No state exchanges means no tax credits and thus no employer penalties. The law also notoriously penalizes many people for not buying insurance. In some cases, being eligible for a tax credit and still not buying insurance subjects you to the penalty. So, again, no state exchange means no tax credit and thus fewer people hit by the penalty. ”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-01/the-flaws-that-will-bring-down-obama-s-health-care-plan.html

  4. AdamL

    October 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    That’s incorrect Frank.

  5. Adam Searing

    October 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Frank, NC will establish a health exchange that we have control over – after all, if we don’t, we cede that task to the federal government and no one wants that to happen, except maybe you!

  6. Frank Burns

    October 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    No I don’t want to cede control to the Feds, but that won’t happen. If NC does not establish the health exchange, then the Feds cannot impose penalties on NC citizens for not puchasing health care plans.

  7. AdamL

    October 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Pretty much no one agrees with that Cato analysis.

  8. Vlad

    October 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    The plan is not bad.