After a while I started to notice a pattern of three rather large pieces of information most people were getting wrong.
Now, I have paid more attention to the whole "Obamacare" thing than most people. However, I was a little surprised at the impact the Affordable Care Act rumor mill had on peoples perception of the law.
Outside of the Mickey Mouse website, the most frustrating part of this entire process for me has been the sluggish pace some information has taken to get out.
Here's the three biggest Obamacare myths you need debunked to make a smart health insurance decision for 2014.
1. There's No Government Health Insurance Plan
This is absolutely the number one reason preventing people from wanting to consider applying for "Obamacare" and it's NOT EVEN TRUE!
Sorry for raising my voice. But seriously, I lost count of how many people told me, "I don't want the government controlling my health insurance."
You will be buying health insurance plans from the same private companies you can today. Ohio's Health Insurance Marketplace just offers you an opportunity to have part of your health insurance discounted or paid for.
If your income qualifies you for a decent subsidy, you would be foolish for not buying a plan from the Marketplace.
2. You Don't Have to Buy From Healthcare.gov
I hate to admit this, but I have had a few clients try and purchase health insurance on their own through the government's website.
I absolutely appreciate their abundance of initiative, however going to the government run website is the self-serve approach to handling your health insurance. Licensed agents and brokers, like myself, can help you bypass that hassle and provide experienced knowledge for no additional cost.
As I've pointed out over the last several weeks, there are plenty of big, substantial changes happening with health insurance companies and the plans they're offering in 2014. It's highly unlikely anyone fully understands them.
How do I know that?
Because there are questions I still haven't gotten answers to and information that has yet to be made available.
If you have a health insurance agent who handles your current policy and you complete the registration process by yourself on healthcare.gov, they won't be able to help you any more. Even if you included their name on the application, I have serious doubts with the sites ability to actually credit your agent for that policy.
3. Your Health Insurance Will Cost Less
I know, it's called the "Affordable" Care Act, but someone must have forgot to tell the President and the members of his administration responsible for creating it.
While specific rates have been delayed as a results of healthcare.gov's technical difficulties, every example and conversation I've had with insurance companies has indicated otherwise.
This has nothing to do with the politics of the law, instead has EVERYTHING to do with insurance.
Even if you are one of the lucky ones whose health insurance will be "more affordable" next year, it will only be due to government tax credits and subsidies. Essentially creating "artificial" affordability.
UPDATE: I finally got a hold of these new rates and put them to the test against the cost of health insurance today. Fair warning, it's not pretty.
The Bottom Line
The federal government has done one thing VERY well during this whole process and that's confuse you into thinking "new" insurance options exist that you have to purchase on your own directly from them.
While insurance companies will be offering all new plans next year, be required to give it to everyone and meet the 10 essential health benefits, that's the only new you will see.
You will still be buying from the same private insurance companies today and can get assistance from any licensed/certified agent or broker.
The only thing the government is doing is providing you a broken website to find these plans and helping pay for certain peoples health insurance.