We are in the midst of transitioning to a new Health Care Reform where employees are going to have to choose a health care provider, if they currently do not have one. As with any new procedure, there are going to be new decisions that have to be made about their health care.
By October 1, employers are now responsible for education their current employees about their health care choices and the availability of health coverage on the exchanges, if the employer opts not to provide health benefits to the employees. Then they must post legal notices on the premises for new employees.
The employees must then visit the exchanges on-line and shop around for an insurance plan. Each state has their own website. For most employees this task could be overwhelming, as there are sixteen different plans available in the state of Rhode Island. Some will not understand the different insurance terms and some may not have the patience to shop for coverage themselves.
The state has a staff available to answer questions and the site is very user friendly. Employees have three months to choose a plan which would be effective on January 1, 2013. Employees are expected to choose a lower priced plan with high deductibles and co-payments, rather than a plan with a low deductible and co-payments.
This may put a strain on the budge when utilizing the services. However, there are other plans available outside of the exchanges, at affordable prices, which would enable the employees to pay most if not all of their medical bills.
For anyone who wants more of an explanation on the details of the health care reform and the responsibilities of the employees and the employers, there will be workshop sponsored by the Chambers of Commerce and other organizations. For a complete schedule of the locations, go to the Health Source RI website.