Breaking down the Affordable Care Act - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Breaking down the Affordable Care Act

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

The Affordable Care Act, a federal health reform law that expands health insurance coverage throughout the country, will go into effect in 2014, and next week enrollment for the Massachusetts health insurance exchange will open.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services in Massachusetts John Polanowicz says there are two groups of individuals who need to pay special attention to the upcoming changes.

Polanowicz says the first group is about 150,000 people who will now be eligible for Medicaid under MassHealth. Those people will be picked up electronically out of the system and don't have to worry about re-enrolling. Their providers, insurers and physicians will not change.

"There's another group of individuals, another about 150,000, who are receiving some forms of subsidized care today that will stay in the connector with support under the Affordable Care Act who will have to affirmatively re-enroll," said Polanowicz.

If you are in the group who has to re-enroll, Polanowicz says you'll have to log on to the health exchange starting on Tuesday to do so. That website is: https://www.mahealthconnector.org

"We have an entire process in place to be able to do that, to outreach to those individuals to ensure that they can log into the connector site, put in their eligibility, get their eligibility determination and then hear back from us that they will in fact be covered on Jan. 1," said Polanowicz.

There will be several changes under the new law. Polanowicz broke down a few of the benefits people should be aware of.

"Your dependent children up to the age of 26 can remain on your family plan. Preventative care services - so screening mammographies, colonoscopies, flu immunizations, are all now covered under the Affordable Care Act. Any preventative, your annual physical, there's no cost to that, there's no co-pays or deductibles for that under the Affordable Care Act," said Polanowicz.

The exchange on mahealthconnect.org will open up on Oct. 1.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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