Ready For Obamacare? Many Americans Struggling to Understand New Health Care Law

September 27, 2013 – In The News
The Star-Ledger

Elizabeth Litten was quoted in The Star-Ledger article “Ready For Obamacare? Many Americans Struggling to Understand New Health Care Law.” While the full text can be found in the September 27, 2013, issue of The Star Ledger, a synopsis is noted below.

The arrival of Obamacare is fast-approaching and while millions of Americans will soon have access to affordable health coverage, polls suggest that many know little about the new law and how it may impact them and their families.

“Whether the average person feels it immediately or not, there are going to be shifts,” says Litten. “Whether you are at the older, more expensive end or younger, there are going to be changes, but the takeaway is individuals are going to be paying a lot more attention to how they use care and how they decide to be covered. I think it’s going to be the rare person who can go along blindly and assume their health care is going to be covered the way it always was.”

Many professionals believe that there may be a shift towards employers self-funding insurance plans. As opposed to paying premiums to a private company, employees will pay premiums directly to their company, which will be responsible for reimbursements. Litten says this gives employers more flexibility when it comes to controlling costs and premiums.

“Some of the very large employers have been doing this for a couple years, but now it’s all employers trying to modify the coverage they offer or to purchase it differently,” she says.

The lasting impression of the Affordable Care Act will probably be its effect on how the nation purchases and utilizes health insurance. The federal government, employers and individuals will play closer attention to what their coverage plan costs and offers, Litten says.

“In the past, I don’t think anyone had a reason to know what it cost to get an X-ray,” says Litten. “Now, people are going to pay more attention to the value. They’re going to also get a lot smarter and demand to know what they are purchasing.”