Delays With Obamacare?

Summary of Benefits and Coverage
Click to watch the video.

Chalk it up to, “Better late than never.”  The document known as the SBC was supposed to be available by March 23, 2011.  After a year and a half of delays, it will finally start to be provided on September 23, 2012.  This 4 page document, as outlined in the PPACA, will provide a standardized set of information to allow you to compare your existing health insurance plan with another one.  You will be able to use it to make informed shopping decisions.  The form will help you;

  • Identify risks that are not covered
  • Compare premiums
  • Compare benefits

Watch the video above to learn more about the SBC.  If you get your health insurance through your employer, you should start seeing this new form when your group policy renews after September 23.  If you use an individual policy, your health insurance company will send one to you upon your request.

The rumor mill is starting to hint about an additional delay for the Exchanges.  (An Exchange is a web portal where Americans can go to select their health insurance provider and receive any federal subsidy for which they qualify.)   As of today only 15 states have passed legislation or have executive orders from governors to create health insurance exchanges.  Kaiser Health has determined that 7 states have already determined that they will not create exchanges.  Over half of the states are still uncommitted and are waiting to see what will happen with the elections in November.  The PPACA requires the Secretary of HHS to form federal exchanges in states that fail to form their own.  Although the technology is relatively easy, each state already has a unique set of insurance laws that must be considered.  Another problem is that not all insurance companies operate in every state.  With the potential hurdles that must be over-come in states that do not cooperate with Obamacare, there is a chance that the benefits that are scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2014 may be postponed an additional year.

For a more thorough explanation, read the Reuter’s article.  “Because the healthcare law requires Washington to set up federal exchanges in states that do not create their own, the administration could face the daunting task of establishing federal exchanges in dozens of states — raising questions about a possible delay in the implementation of reform.”

Keep in mind that this is rumor and speculation.  It is not fact.  As of right now, the Exchanges appear to be on schedule but many of the mandates from the PPACA have been postponed, delayed or suspended.  There is no reason to suspect anything different with the Exchanges.  My advice is to plan as if the Exchanges will be available on time but be prepared to stay with your current health insurance for an additional year.