Can I get a subsidy for insurance under the Affordable Care Act? What happens to me if I don't get coverage, as the law says I must? My premiums have doubled; what can I do about that? I'm stuck in an expensive insurance plan at work — can I shop on HealthCare.gov for a cheaper one of my own?
The AP received questions like these when it asked people on social media to send inquiries about what President Barack Obama's health care law means for their coverage, pocketbook and life. The questions of broadest interest will be addressed in a three-part series timed for the final days before the March 31 deadline for open enrollment in the new insurance markets, called exchanges.
The first BC-US--Health Overhaul Q&A was released Friday. The second will be released early Monday morning; the third, early Wednesday morning. Each story addresses one to three questions and runs 500-900 words.
This is prime time for the law, as people take their last chance this year to sign up for coverage in the exchanges, Medicaid is extended to more people in many states, job-based insurance undergoes change and people come to grips with the requirement for almost everyone to have coverage or face a penalty. The rollout means new opportunities, risks — and confusion.
First in the series: A woman in Georgia feels trapped in her expensive workplace insurance plan, but may not be, while one in Virginia asks whether she will be fined for going without insurance as long as she remains unemployed.
For questions about the series, contact Cal Woodward at firstname.lastname@example.org.