There seems to be some confusion, so I am going to start a thread were we can discuss the issue.
1. If you have a private policy right now and the bill gets signed on Monday, you will NOT be able to alter your private policy in any way. This is because if you keep your current policy and just alter it, it still would not fall under the new rules and guidlines, and the new rules and guidlines is something you WANT in your policy. But if you DO want to keep it as is ...You can.
2. "What rules and guidlines" ..good question, the bill isn't done yet, but here are a few.
- The insurance companies CANNOT deny coverage when you have been paying for it.
- The insurance companies CANNOT deny you for a pre-existing condition.
- The insurance companies CANNOT pick and chose the healthiest people and just cover them
3. Employer-sponsored plans will have five years to get in compliance with the new regulations, more than enough time to comply.
4. If you want to keep your existing health coverage you can, if you want to change to another private policy then you can. If want to ignore the public option offered by the government, you can. But if you want a choice, then you will go shopping at the NIE (National Insurance Exchange) ..one giant outlet where everybody competes for your business, following the same rules and regulations... on a level playing field.
The Private insurers will be there along side the public plan, you can compare their coverage and prices and make a rational decesion based on the facts before you.
And for those who are confused about the "page 16 fear mongering" by Michelle Bachman .. Here is teh actual text from Page 16...
The actual text...OF PAGE 16
(a) Grandfathered Health Insurance Coverage Defined- Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable coverage under this division, the term `grandfathered health insurance coverage' means individual health insurance coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the first day of Y1 if the following conditions are met:
This means that if you like your insurance you can keep it.
(2) LIMITATION ON CHANGES IN TERMS OR CONDITIONS- Subject to paragraph (3) and except as required by law, the issuer does not change any of its terms or conditions, including benefits and cost-sharing, from those in effect as of the day before the first day of Y1.
This means if you DO CHOSE to keep your insurance, you can't modify it.
(1) IN GENERAL- Individual health insurance coverage that is not grandfathered health insurance coverage under subsection (a) may only be offered on or after the first day of Y1 as an Exchange-participating health benefits plan.
And this means if you leave your job and lose your coverage, or if you just want to change coverage, you have to go to the NIE to buy new coverage. This coverage can be private or public.
REAPEAT ...THIS NEW COVERAGE CAN BE PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, THE NIE (NATIONAL INSURANCE EXCHANGE) WILL BE A CLEARING HOUSE FOR HEALTH INSURANCE, YOU CAN CHOSE A PRIVATE OR PUBLIC PLAN .....BUT YOU DO HAVE TO GO TO THE (NIE) TO GET IT.
YOU WILL BE FORCED TO GO TO THE NIE, BUT YOU WILL NOT BE FORCED TO BUY A PUBLIC PLAN