Health Care Confusion: Answers to Your Questions

SPRINGFIELD (WGGB) — While the Affordable Healthcare Act continues to be a sticking point in Washington for Republicans and Democrats, it is the law of the land.

Also known as Obamacare, it contains more than 10,000 pages of rules and regulations – meaning a lot of people have a lot of questions.

As of October 1st,  the Affordable Healthcare Act care act went ‘live’ with enrollment and coverage now set to begin on January 1st.

Here at ABC40 – we hosted a panel of healthcare specialists to answer your concerns.

One thing they were quick to point out… here in Massachusetts  enrollment is a bit different because we already have state sponsored ‘Commonwealth Care’.

“Those on Mass health and Medicare, they don’t need to do anything at all. The state is going to automatically roll them over.  For people in Commonwealth Care, again the message is you have to re-enroll by December 15th or those plans will be going away and so in order to maintain coverage for January 1st it’s important to go to mahealthconnecter.org to sign up for a new plan,” said Eliza Lake of Hilltown Healthcare Center.

Another big concern for many is the price tag.

Many people called in to ask whether their health insurance costs will go up, down, or stay the same.

“Overall the studies are showing that your healthcare costs are at least going to stay the same if not go down. What the Affordable Care Act is doing is it’s increasing the subsidies that it provides to states so that people who earn more can still get tax credits,” said Ann Poole of Holyoke Health Center.

We would like to thank our panel of experts for joining us:

Ann Poole, Holyoke Health Center
Eliza Lake, Denise St. Pierre and John Bergerson, Hilltown Community Health Centers


HealthCare.gov – The Government’s Health Care Marketplace
Massachusetts and the ACA
How do I get help applying for coverage?
Apply for Marketplace insurance in Massachusetts
How do I choose Marketplace Insurance?
What if I already have Employer-provided insurance?
How can I see prices and plan options?
What if I have a pre-existing condition
Full text of the Affordable Health Care Act

  • doggone

    Three years to get this up and running!

  • neptune51

    One big giant disaster!!

  • http://byrondennis.typepad.com/masshealthstats/ DennisByron

    You say:

    “Those on Mass health and Medicare, they don’t need to do anything at all. The state is going to automatically roll them over.”

    This sentence is totally inaccurate concerning people on Medicare. Enrollment in Obamacare has nothing to do with Medicare. The state is NOT going to automatically roll over anyone on Medicare; people on Medicare need to look at their options beginning today — October 15 — just as they always have.

    In addition, I think the entire paragraph is incorrect but please at least correct the error you are putting out about Medicare. Please stop participating in the left-wing’s War on Seniors.

    • Eliza Lake

      Thank you, Mr. Byron, for that correction.

      You are absolutely right that open enrollment for Medicare begins today and that people should take advantage of it to change their plans if appropriate.

      I did not speak clearly in that moment – I was talking in the context of the ACA implementation, which does not require that individuals with Medicare take action. I should have said that those on MassHealth only will be automatically rolled over into a new plan, if that is required.

      I apologize for any inaccuracy that I may have conveyed in a live interview, and will contact the station to see if they can share the correct information. As a community health center, we are committed to ensuring that everyone have affordable and accessible health insurance, and would never want to discourage anyone from accessing the coverage they need.

    • Eliza Lake

      Mr. Byron, I was just able to view a tape of my interview, and I want to let you know that what I said was edited to not include the following words at the end of my statement: “Those on MassHealth and Medicare, they don’t need to do anything at all. The state is going to automatically roll them over in the case of MassHealth, and Medicare isn’t being affected. For people…” So while I did not clearly state that it was Open Enrollment for Medicare, I did try to make clear that MassHealth is the only place where there is automatic enrollment, and that Medicare is not affected by the ACA. It’s unfortunate that the whole statement was not included.

      • http://byrondennis.typepad.com/masshealthstats/ DennisByron

        Ms. Lake

        Hopefully the TV station would do the right thing and correct this erroneous article but probably not. Hate to say it but no one reads comments