Myth 1: “The new Marketplace will limit choice of doctors and delay access to care, leading to rationing (because more people are coming into the system/because insurers are dropping out).”
- Previously uninsured Americans (who are disproportionately going to buy insurance in the Marketplace) have had little to no regular access to physicians because they had no coverage and they could not afford care.
- The Health Insurance Marketplace will significantly improve access to care for people who lack affordable health coverage today.
- Remember, the Marketplaces are intended for uninsured Americans who do not get coverage through work. These Americans lack access today. The Marketplace will vastly increase these American’s access to providers, giving them an alternative to the emergency room.
- We have put protections in place to ensure that consumers have choice through good access to networks of providers. Consumer protections in Federal and state law require health plans to include a sufficient networks of providers as well as essential community providers.
- Also, competitive prices and more demand for health insurance drive competition. That’s why the new Marketplaces will provide more affordable choices to more Americans.
Myth 2: “Obamacare is making insurance more expensive.”
- The growth in employers’ health care premiums has slowed significantly recently, to less than a third of the growth rate in the early 2000s.
- A recent report by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that 6.8 million consumers saved an estimated $1.2 billion on health insurance premiums in 2012, because of the part of the Affordable Care Act called “rate review” that brings sunlight and scrutiny to insurance premiums.
- Now, in every state, insurance companies are required to submit for review and justify any proposed health insurance premium increase of 10 percent or more.
- In other words, the days when insurers could post double digit insurance premium increases without transparency and accountability are over.
- This is one of many ways American families are saving under the health law.
- For example, the 80/20 rule which requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on health care or provide rebates to their customers, saved 77.8 million consumer $3.4 billion up front on premiums last year.
- And insurers that didn’t meet the 80/20 rule provided nearly 8.5 million Americans with $500 million in rebates, averaging $100 per households.
- For Medicare patients, the law has also begun reimbursing physicians for the quality of care they deliver, not the number of tests they run or procedures they do. This is leading to higher quality care at a lower cost.
Myth 3: “According to several recent polls, the majority of Americans do not understand the law. How can you expect them to sign up?”
- The public education campaign kicks off in earnest at the beginning of October - from staff in community health centers, to public service announcements and outreach efforts, the six months from October to March will be key to raising awareness about the new market places and the benefits of the law for Americans.
- There have been very relentless efforts underway by opponents of the health law designed to undermine successful education efforts.
- Some Members of Congress have intimidated individuals and organizations willing to help consumers get the facts, others have even suggested they won't answer calls from citizens about the benefits.