Nebraskans who are eligible can start the process of finding health insurance coverage as the first stages of the federal Affordable Care Act are now available with the opening of the online marketplaces.
Jon Bailey, director of research at the Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs, has some advice for people beginning the search.
“Don’t rush into any decisions,” Bailey says. “You don’t have to make a decision today or even the first day you get into the marketplace. Do your research, do the comparisons between plans that might work for you and your family or your business. Do your research, do your comparison shopping and ask for help because there are helpers in every community.”
While the battle over so-called Obamacare in Congress has led to the federal government shutdown, Bailey says he doesn’t think it will bring a future rollback of the insurance marketplaces.
“There’s no need to be concerned about that,” Bailey says. “The marketplaces are open, the Affordable Care Act is going to continue. There’s no indication Congress is going to change the Affordable Care Act in any way. Right now, it’s all systems go for the marketplaces and the Affordable Care Act.”
Bailey says the marketplace system should be a good fit for people across Nebraska and in all rural areas of the country.
“Most estimates are that about a third of rural people buy their own health insurance and nationally, it’s only about 6%,” Bailey says. “It’s also meant for small groups, small businesses which are greater in number in rural communities. The marketplaces were really designed for rural people.”
More more information or to sign-up, visit: www.healthcare.gov.
The Center for Rural Affairs is based in Lyons.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton