Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act
At Integrity we know how complicated college can be. From class to work and back again, college is a busy time, that’s why we want to make signing up for health care coverage as easy as possible, while wasting as little of your time and money.
THE HEALTH CARE LAW
The nation’s health care insurance system is undergoing major changes. The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) is expected to expand health care insurance coverage, with more benefits for more people, and more affordable coverage for many.
The law keeps today’s job-based, private insurance system and the Medicare system for those age 65 and older. It will also offer new ways to get health care insurance for those who are not able to do so due to health problems or price. There are four key features of the law:
- Coverage will be guaranteed. You will be able to get health care insurance coverage, even with a pre-existing condition. What’s more, you won’t have to pay more to have pre-existing medical conditions covered.
- All new plans will include coverage for essential health benefits. These are a comprehensive package of benefits, including preventive services, maternity and newborn care, and emergency services.
- You may qualify for cost assistance.Based on your income, you may now be able to get help paying for health care insurance coverage. Premium tax credits and help with cost-sharing are available to those who qualify.
- The Health Insurance Marketplace in Illinois will offer a new way to shop. You will be able to compare plan prices and benefits from a number of health care insurance companies offering coverage on the marketplace. However, you will still be able to buy directly from an insurance company or broker if you’d like. It’s your choice.
HOW WILL THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AFFECT ME?
- If you have health insurance. If you buy coverage yourself or have insurance with an employer or government program, you may not experience many changes. But your coverage may have some new benefits that the law puts in place, like free screenings for some preventive services and the ability to continue to insure your adult children up to age 26.
- If you don’t have health insurance.Your job might not offer health insurance. You may have had problems getting coverage because of an existing health problem. Or, you may not have been able to afford health insurance. The new health care law provides options for many individuals and families to get coverage who have not had and could not afford health insurance. Starting in 2014, you will be able to buy some form of health insurance if you are a U.S. citizen or a legal resident. There will be health plans that offer coverage to people with existing health problems. There may be help to pay for health insurance premiums.
- Almost everyone can get health insurance. Under the new law, health care insurance plans won’t be able to deny coverage to people for health reasons
KEY DATES For Columbia College Students
- November 1, 2018: Open Enrollment starts — first day you can enroll in a 2019 Marketplace plan
- December 15, 2018: End of Open Enrollment. Last day to enroll in a 2019 Marketplace plan.
- January 1, 2019: Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2019.
Special Enrollment Periods
Did you miss your opportunity to enroll? Well there are certain “Life Events” that may qualify you to enroll in the Affordable Care Act outside of the enrollment dates. Learn about the Special Enrollment Period and if you qualify here.
WHEN AND HOW SHOULD I BUY 2019 HEALTH CARE INSURANCE?
The sale of 2019 policies will begin on November 1, 2018.
If your current health care insurance is from your employer, you may not have to do anything. Ask your employer if changes will be made to your health care insurance plan and consider if it is best for you.
If you have an insurance agent that has helped you find insurance coverage in the past, you can still work with the agent. You can also buy directly from health care insurers.
You can also go to the Health Insurance Marketplace in Illinois. The Marketplace will give comparisons and have online calculators to help determine if you can get help paying for insurance.
WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD HEALTH CARE INSURANCE?
The new health care law may make health care insurance easier to afford. Tax credits will help people pay for premiums (monthly payments) when they buy coverage on the Marketplace.
Payment assistance may also be available for expenses that you pay when you receive medical treatment (such as deductibles, copays or coinsurance).
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF INSURANCE PLANS?
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois has four levels of health care plans available through the Affordable Care Act — Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. All plans will have similar benefits, and all will include essential health benefits. Where they differ is on how the costs of the benefits are applied.
- Bronze – Will have the lowest monthly premium, but also could be the highest out-of-pocket costs.
- Silver – This level has slightly higher monthly premiums than bronze but also richer benefits.
- Gold – Gold has even higher level of benefits than silver, but also a higher monthly premium.
- Platinum – This is the highest level offered by BCBSIL, with both the highest premium but also the richest benefits.
Columbia College Chicago Students Foreign and Abroad
Student Health Insurance Coverage
U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents living abroad who are 74 or younger at the time of application are eligible to apply for coverage. Legal residents of the U.S. (citizens and residents) are eligible if they apply from an approved state. The Eligible Member must be scheduled to reside outside of his/her country for at least 3 months per year and must be involved in Educational activity. This includes:
- International Students living in an approved state
- International Faculty and Research Scholars in an approved state
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) Participants living in an approved state
- U.S. Students and Faculty, planning on studying outside of the U.S., applying from either an approved state or from outside of the U.S.
- Pre-existing condition waiting period can be eliminated with proof of prior creditable coverage
Other Plan Features
- Worldwide medical coverage built for students and faculty in the U.S. and Abroad.
- Select from a range of deductibles and rates.
- Contraceptive services, surgeries and supplies are covered under the policy.
- Unlimited annual and lifetime medical maximum.
- Deductible waived for office visits with doctors. J1 Visa compliant options.
- No waiting period or sublimit for preventive services.
- No precertification penalty for inpatient or outpatient care.
- Pre-existing conditions covered with creditable coverage (including prior HTH Student Plans).
- Illnesses and injuries related to terrorism are covered.
- Meets all Schengen Visa requirements.
Columbia College Chicago Students
If you still have questions please give our office a call at, 866.451.1979 or request a call from an agent right now here.