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PAN Alert: Health Care Exchanges Open Nationwide Today

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) has received another important update from the Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) about the Health Insurance Exchanges and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

From PAN:

The Health Insurance Exchanges (or Health Insurance Marketplaces) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open in every state across the country today. Coverage for plans offered through the Exchanges will begin January 1, 2014.

The Exchanges are state-based marketplaces through which individuals and small employers can compare plans and purchase health insurance. While the insurance plans offered in each state will have to meet certain standards, every state will have its own independent Exchange. (Learn more about the Health Insurance Exchanges)

Who Purchases Insurance Through the Exchanges?

The Exchanges are designed for those who currently purchase insurance in the individual market. For example, this group may include early retirees (pre-Medicare eligible retirees), the self-employed, individuals whose employers do not provide insurance, or those who cannot afford their employer's insurance. Employers with fewer than 100 full-time employees will also be able to purchase insurance through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges in 2014, although enrollment in some SHOP markets may be temporarily delayed.

If you have or will qualify for health coverage through Medicare or Medicaid — or other private insurance coverage that you are planning to keep, you do not have to purchase insurance through your state's Exchange. In fact, your Medicare or Medicaid coverage will be completely unaffected by the launch of the Exchanges.

To learn more about open enrollment through your state Exchange, visit

Join PAN for an ACA webinar on October 10

On Thursday, October 10th from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET, PAN staff will host an ACA webinar to provide a broad overview of the Health Care Exchanges, the impact of the ACA on Medicare and Medicaid, and to talk through the resources we currently have available.

We know there is still much confusion about the ACA, and we want make sure that you have a better understanding of how the complex changes to our nation's health care system will impact the Parkinson's community and know where to find the information you need.

Space is limited, so please RSVP today. If you are unable to attend, we will record the webinar and post it on the website — and if demand exceeds capacity, we will schedule a second date.

In the meantime, we encourage you to visit our website and browse through the materials and resources that we have available.

PAN is the voice of the Parkinson's community in Washington, DC. In fiscal year 2013, PDF is supporting PAN with a grant of $200,000.

Source Date: Oct 01 2013