Beginning October 1, those who have been denied health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition will be able to sign up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s new health insurance Marketplace.
That coverage will begin January 1, 2014. Until now, the Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool in Nebraska (or CHIP) has been the only option for Nebraskans who couldn’t get coverage anywhere else. CHIP is a state-subsidized insurance plan for people with pre-existing conditions, and currently, more than 3000 Nebraskans get coverage through CHIP. However, CHIP coverage is very expensive, with people often paying very high monthly premiums plus their deductibles and cost-sharing expenses.
But with the major reforms of the ACA being implemented, CHIP will no longer be necessary, and the people who have been limited to CHIP coverage can purchase a plan that is more affordable and offers more comprehensive health care benefits. Many people who purchase coverage in the new marketplace will get tax credits to go towards their premiums, and some will receive cost-sharing subsidies.
That means real relief for thousands of Nebraskans who will pay much less of their monthly income towards health care.