Health Care Reform and You

Posted on Feb 18th 2013 by Kate Warnock

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Listening to the evening news, following the trending topics on Twitter or even just talking with your friends and family, it would be hard to avoid hearing about health care reform, more formally known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). What is health care reform? And how will it affect you, your family and your health? Your questions are ours, too, which is why we want to share all that we’re learning about ACA along the way. Our promise is to keep you informed as we become informed, and help you understand how the changes might affect how you manage yours and your family’s health. We’re committed to being right there with you every step of the way. The information below can help you learn how the Affordable Care Act may affect you and your family, but it might leave you with more specific questions. As your health partner, we want you to know that we have a team at Florida Blue dedicated to providing you answers to your questions. So tweet us @FLBlue, leave us a comment here on our blog, or visit your local Florida Blue Center for face-to-face support. We also have a website devoted to all-things health care reform – – which provides additional ways to connect with us for answers, including a toll-free number. What does the new law do?
  • It sets certain standards for health plans so you can easily compare them against each other.
  • If you qualify, you can get help to pay for part of your health insurance.
  • By January 1, 2014, most everyone has to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty to the government.
When does it take place?
  • Some things have already happened. Others happen in 2013 and 2014. Our timeline gives you the details.
  • You can start to buy the new qualified health insurance plans October 1, 2013, through the government Marketplace or directly from an insurance company.
Who has to get insurance?
  • Everyone who lives in the United States, including non-citizens with legal residency status.
What if I already have insurance?
  • In October 2013, you’ll have more plans to choose from.
  • If you’ve had a plan since March 2010 that qualifies as a “grandfathered” plan, and you like the plan, you may be able to keep it.
  • No matter what your situation, Florida Blue can walk through the options for you and your family.
What if I don’t want it?
  • The law gives you a choice. If you don’t already have coverage, you can either buy it or pay a tax penalty to the government.
Need more info?
  • Call us at 1-800-633-6808.
  • Go online to
  • Visit your local Florida Blue Center— call 1-877-FL-BLUE-0 to find the location nearest you.
We look forward to partnering with you as health care reform is fully enacted later this year, and promise to be with you every step of the way. This information is for illustrative purposes only and is being provided to help increase understanding of the impacts of some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It does not attempt to cover all of the law’s provisions and is not intended as tax or legal advice.

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Kate Warnock

Kate Warnock is a member of the Florida Blue social media team and has loved being at the forefront of the social wave @FLBlue. A marketer with ten years’ experience, Kate is also a wife and mom to two children. When not at work, you’ll find Kate listening to NPR, reading The New Yorker and Cooking Light, and arriving two minutes late to yoga class.

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