Under the pre-affordable-care-act “system”, a child who gets leukemia had a pre-existing condition for life, making it extremely difficult and/or expensive to get health insurance for this child, move out of state, or quit a job. This is just one reason why the healthcare system got an overhaul, with the new system coming on line October 1, 2013. Here’s a good article with pointers to other resources to understand the insurance options made possible by the Affordable Care Act. One of the Act’s provisions is to fund assistance to people in navigating the new insurance options. Some states seem to be doing all they can to sabotage the new system’s success, in part by not having enough help for its citizens (e.g., Wisconsin). Others, like California, have invested the resources needed to help maximize the success of the system. It will be interesting to watch how things go based on these different approaches.
The article also contains information on the problems with the current “system”, including current denial rates by state for pre-existing conditions which can range from minor to major (rates as high as 33%) as well as examples of very complicated paperwork required to apply.
Check out this funny/sad video where Jimmy Kimmel asks people whether they prefer “The Affordable Care Act” or “Obamacare” (note: they are the same program).
Here’s a calculator for estimating your premiums under the plan.
Main site for questions is healthcare.gov