Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Want to learn about health insurance, but don't know where to start?

Health care. Health insurance. Health reform. What do these words even mean? How is anyone ever supposed to learn about our health care system? I think we may have an answer.....read on.

The health care reform law is very complex and no one has the time or expertise to read through the whole law. It's actually a combination of two laws passed by Congress, so you'd have to read through this 974 page compilation of the two laws or review each of the 55 page and 2409 page bills to get through everything that we know as the Affordable Care Act.  Don't ask me how you add up a 55 page bill and a 2409 page bill to get to 974 pages - I'm not a math major.

And yet before you can even begin to understand the new law, you of course have to understand the system it was designed to change. So it's not easy, not simple, and not for the faint of heart. We've seen a few resources to help people understand the health care law (like this great Youtube video) but they don't go into many details to help your average consumer understand our current health insurance system.

I've found something that may answer some of your persistent questions: Health Insurance 101, a comprehensive, easy to read introduction to health insurance from Community Catalyst and the Center for Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.

The website explains our current system and how the Affordable Care Act will change it. It has some disturbing information, especially the memo that details how insurance companies deliberately set out to exclude people with a chronic disease from their plans.

Now, the website only goes into the details of health insurance - it doesn't actually talk much at all about health care. But if we can understand how health care is paid for, hopefully we can get a better idea of how we can go about improving it.

Health Insurance 101. Spread the word.

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