Getting to Know Obamacare’s New Standard Insurance Application

Insurance Exchange Standard Application Cover PageLast month the Obama Administration released the standard application form that will be used to apply to the Affordable Care Act’s new health insurance exchanges. Applications will be accepted starting October 1, 2013 for coverage through the exchanges that will begin January 1, 2014. The first things you’ll notice about the forms – they’re short. Traditionally forms for health insurance coverage have averaged around 20 pages or so – the new individual short form is only 3 pages (plus a cover sheet and an appendix if you get a preparer’s help). If you are also seeking coverage for family members, the form balloons to 7 pages – still 2/3 less paper work than usual. The forms are designed to be a one-stop entry to not only the insurance exchange marketplaces but also to tax credits for eligible enrollees and to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs for those who qualify. From the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services press release:

“Consumers will have a simple, easy-to-understand way to apply for health coverage later this year,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “The application for individuals is now three pages, making it easier to use and significantly shorter than industry standards. This is another step complete as we get ready for a consumer-friendly marketplace that will be open for business later this year.”

In the three years since the Affordable Care Act was passed a lot has been written about what “will happen” under Obamacare, but actually seeing the rubber meet the road in the release of the paperwork to apply for coverage means the prediction is giving way to implementation. If your practice does not offer coverage to your employees, these are the forms they will use to apply for coverage under the new system.

The same goes for your patients: if they lose coverage or do not have enough coverage, these forms will give them access to all of their options in one place. More than ever, providers need to be partners in their patients’ health, but also in assisting them in understanding their health coverage. Making sure stakeholders know all the options means making sure they can achieve the best outcomes.

Check out the new standard Insurance Applications:


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