It seems ironic that we are on the eve of the October 1st, 2013 launch of the largest public open enrollment of health insurance in U.S. history and we are one day away from a government shutdown. While the rest of Washington D.C. tries to get its act together, we recognize that our friends in human resources may need a trusted resource to help navigate consumers through the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This year only, the health exchange marketplace open enrollment period will run from October 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014. In subsequent years, open enrollment will run from October 15th through December 7th, for a January 1st effective date. After this initial year only, the October 15th open enrollment schedule will match up with that of Medicare.
The older I get the more I rely on unbiased experts who can save me time and have my best interests at heart. This is why I am a subscriber to Consumer Reports. In the November 2013 issue, I was pleased to find a well constructed explanation of the ACA and how it might impact three different groups: someone who gets insurance through work, who buys insurance on their own, or who is Medicare eligible.
With over twenty years of benefits consulting experience, I thought I would put the Consumer Report's online guide called healthlawhelper.org to the test. I am giving it an enthusiastic thumbs up and hope you share it with those who come to you for help. It is a free resource that offers an easy to follow questionnaire that guides consumers through a personal decision making process on what to do. Consumer Reports is a national nonprofit organization with one and only one mission: to take the side of consumers wherever they may need it. Since the new health law is the biggest change in the American health care system in more than a generation, they created the Health Law Helper to give consumers accurate and unbiased information about the law and how it affects them.
Please pass it along to anyone who needs advice from a trusted organization with the consumer's best interest at heart.