About 30 people attended the event, and here are five things they learned from AARP Michigan presenter Cleve Lee:
- Much information about the new federal health care law is available online, but if you search under "Obamacare" or anything except "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act", you will not find unbiased information.
- Everyone has to be covered by insurance, but not everyone has to "buy insurance" from the health care exchange. "All of you who are on Medicare, you don't have to do a thing." The same is true for anyone currently covered under a health plan.
- The Affordable Care Act enhances Medicare by covering more preventative services, including annual "wellness visits", and eventually closing the coverage gap ("donut hole") in prescription drug coverage.
- Michigan's uninsured can access the health insurance marketplace beginning Oct. 1, 2013, at healthcare.gov. Applications are accepted through Dec. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014, but you can still apply through March 31, 2014.
- Health care policies in the exchange are standardized, and available tax credits are immediately applied. You'll see the exact cost of the four options provided, which will vary only in the deductible amount.