Answering Your Affordable Care Act Questions

6:18 PM, Oct 1, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- If you're confused about what's happening with healthcare in this country, you're not alone.

"Just thinking about the future and how everything is going to play's overwhelming to think about," Greensboro parent Kristina Parker said.

Another Greensboro mother, Stephanie Deaver, added, "One of my biggest concerns is that our healthcare insurance is going to go up a lot more than we had planned on. We're just trying to make ends meet and figure out our budget with the increasing costs of healthcare." 

Health insurance rates are going up. Even if you're on your company's plan, expect to pay more.

"Many of the uninsured have severe illnesses or pre-existing conditions. When they join the insurance pool, we're going to have to pay for those people's care more directly than we're currently paying. That's going to cause everybody's insurance rates to go up," UNCG Distinguished Professor of Healthcare Eric Ford said.

Check the mail over the next few weeks and months. You will probably hear something from your company about changes to healthcare. Some companies, like UPS, have already decided to drop many spouses from the company plan.

If you think it's cheaper to pay the penalty for not getting insurance, you might be right.

"A lot of this was designed to draw in young, healthy people who aren't insured so they can help cover some of the cost for other people. However, the way the law is currently structured, it's cheaper for them to take the penalty," Ford said.

What if you have a "pre-existing" condition? A major illness? In the past, insurance companies faced criticism for dropping people who had a lot of health issues. Now, they can't do that anymore.

"Pre-existing conditions and experience don't matter. You'll face the same charges, even if you have a pre-existing condition, like diabetes or coronary heart failure, as somebody who is healthy and young," Ford said.

Right now, there are more questions than answers when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. WFMY News 2 will keep working to uncover what you and your family need to know.

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