Kathleen Sebelius visited Hoboken on Monday and was joined by the Rite Aid chairman and CEO John Standley - to educate citizens on The Affordable Care Act. She assured the Community advocates and hospital executives that the health exchanges would be ready on time - 1st of October.
Consumers in New Jersey could shop for coverage and after studying their eligibility to subsidies and subsequently buy their insurance online. Kathleen said specific prices and plans would be made available by the end of September. New Jersey along with 32 other states would be run by the federal government, 900,000 people in the state would be eligible for insurance either through the health exchange or through the expanded Medicaid program.
AdvertisementIn New Jersey - 80% would be eligible for federal subsidies and with the entrance of new companies like the non-profit Freelancers Union and Health Republic Insurance competition would increase. The Health secretary mentioned that though the premiums would not drop much but the catastrophic policies offered to those under 30 would be able to buy more subsidized and comprehensive covers. She was happy that Governor Christie was willing to expand Medicaid.
"The baton is really at the local and regional level," she said, as the six-month open-enrollment period begins coverage in the new programs. "This is not going to be a top-down conversation. It's got to occur at neighborhoods and church groups and here at pharmacies and at schools." Rite-Aid Corp. announced that independent insurance agents would be available during peak hours at 2,000 of its pharmacies in 31 states to explain the new options and sign people up for coverage.
"Our customers include many who do not currently have insurance," said John Standley, the company's chairman and chief executive officer. Just as the pharmacies provided information to those over 65 when prescription coverage became available under Medicare Part D, he said they will offer free insurance consultations as well as pamphlets and online information about the new health law.
Hoboken was a particularly good place to call attention to the Affordable Care Act, said U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, because more than 100,000 Hudson County residents are uninsured. "When the new [insurance] marketplace opens, a new future begins" for them, he said.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Lindy Washburn September 2013
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