Thursday, November 27, 2014

There's still time to sign up for the Affordable Care Act

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 2:24 p.m.

Just days remain before the March 31 deadline for signing up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Things have been ragged and nobody can deny that the slow start resulted from poor design of the computer-based system. But the uninsured rate has dropped to its lowest levels since 2008.

Although some interests seem intent on undermining the law, health care costs are slowing, probably due to provisions reducing overpayments to providers. According to Robert Reich, former labor secretary, this can provide incentives for doctors and hospitals to improve the quality of care. We can all win from the success of this program.

Businesses with over 50 employees must either provide health insurance to their employees or face a penalty. This number includes employers who normally provide health insurance to employees. The really small businesses do not face penalties.

We do not like to be told what we must do. So enrollment is voluntary, although failure to do so may carry a penalty. But we are all in this together. This is an American program.

The website is www.healthcare.gov. We also have numerous help centers in Elkhart and Goshen.

CARL HELRICH

Goshen