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What will the Healthcare Exchange be?  What does it mean?

The Pacific Business Group on Health yesterday released the third and final installment of its comprehensive report on how to ensure that the people joining a health benefit exchange end up with the plan that works best for them.

“The whole notion of the Affordable Care Act and the establishment of the exchange is to improve the overall health care marketplace,” said Ted von Glahn, a senior director at PBGH, a not-for-profit business coalition focused on health care issues.

“If you don’t get it right when people are making those choices,” von Glahn said, “that would defeat the whole purpose of it.”

That’s one of the points of yesterday’s report, that health officials need to make sure that the choice of a health plan for consumers in the exchange becomes both a simple and well-informed decision.

The report, done in three installments, is based on a series of 2,100 interviews overall, conducted in 2012 with low-income participants chosen to mirror the demographic makeup of expected enrollees in the exchange in 2014.

Outside of premium cost, one of the most important factors to increase enrollment among participants is to make the process a simple one. The first recommendation of the report is to offer shortcuts to the choice of a health plan. That simple approach — basically nudging participants to consider common concerns — must be balanced by the flexibility to also present consumers with more detailed and in-depth information about their choices, von Glahn said. Basically, the approach is to simplify choices, but to be able to lay out the more complex components to choosing a plan, such as the level of varying deductible levels a consumer would pay, for instance.

“Because we know there are half a dozen things that st and out, that matter to people, so you want to nudge them to consider certain aspects,” von Glahn said. “But you don’t want to curtail their opinions or needs. You have to give people choices of what they want to choose.”

The cost calculator, for instance, will be an important component of the health plan selection process, von Glahn said.

 

The New Health Care Reform Act Gives Consumer Protections While Strengthen Medicare Benefits

The Affordable Care Act is a new health reform law created in March 2010 to help Americans who are struggling to obtain health insurance. It gives consumers many protections against the abusive practices of the insurance companies. The Act also protects the benefits of Medicare for millions of American elderly who receive this type of health care.

Effects On Medicare

The Affordable Care Act ensures that older Americans will still see reductions on prescription care medications. The Act strengthens Medicare benefits while reducing the amount of fraud that wastes money as the law helps to ensure that recipients receive improved health care.

Better Care Access

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans can receive free preventative care services without having to pay additional out-of-pocket expenses. People who have pre-existing medical conditions — especially children — cannot be denied health coverage, and young adults can remain on their parent’s health insurance plans up to the age of 26.

People also can shop for the right private health insurance plan that fits into their particular health needs. Through Affordable Insurance Exchanges, a healthcare marketplace, people will be able to compare different health choices that many members of Congress have access to.

Consumer Protections

Millions of Americans were given consumer protections due to the Affordable Care Act. This Act prevents anyone from being denied health insurance, being dropped from their health insurance due to a medical condition and a mistake is found on the insurance application, or having their rates be increased for no reason. Insurance companies will also no longer be able to place lifetime caps on the amount of coverage they give to people who have chronic conditions.

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