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A Simpler Way to Apply for Health Care

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Tuesday, April 30, 2013 that the application for health coverage has been simplified and significantly shortened. The application for individuals without health insurance has been reduced from twenty-one to three pages, and the application for families is reduced by two-thirds. The consumer friendly forms are much shorter than industry standards for health insurance applications today.

In addition, for the first time consumers will be able to fill out one simple application and see their entire range of health insurance options, including plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and tax credits that will help pay for premiums.

The applications released today, which can be submitted starting on October 1, can be found here: http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/other/index.html#hie

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Search for Federally Qualified Health Centers

Search for Federally Qualified Health Centers

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services provides an online database that allows you to search for Federally Qualified Health Centers nationwide. 

HRSA health centers care for you, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. Health centers provide:

  1. Checkups when you’re well
  2. Treatment when you’re sick
  3. Complete care when you’re pregnant
  4. Immunizations and checkups for your children
  5. Dental care and prescription drugs for your family
  6. Mental health and substance abuse care if you need it

Health centers are in most cities and many rural areas.

New Health Insurance Reform Rules Released

Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius

The Department of Health and Human Services has released a set of guidelines setting out to end discrimination against the sick, and guarantee minimum benefits for Americans who currently are not covered by health insurance but will be once the new health care law is enacted January 1, 2014.

The guidelines, released by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, give more detail as to how the Obama Administration will allow access to healthcare to those with pre-existing conditions and how health insurance exchanges work. In addition, proposed rules about new consumer protections for wellness and preventative healthcare coverage was also laid out.

December 14 is the deadline for states to tell the federal government if they plan on participating in the health care exchange program, which will offer consumers private insurance at subsidized rates beginning in October with open enrollment. So far, 17 states have agreed to participate in the exchange program.

For more on the exchange program and new rules, go here.

Tell us, do you support the exchange program?

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