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Series: Health Insurance And The ACA

The health system in the U.S. is built upon a complex and interlocking series of relationships between medical providers, insurers, the federal and state governments, employers and the people who require preventive care and treatment throughout their lives. The enactment of the Affordable Care Act, one goal of which was securing coverage for more Americans, has profoundly transformed this system since its implementation, including in Wisconsin. At the same time, the political contentiousness of the law has added complexity and uncertainty to the health care decisions Americans make, and the future of the health care system continues to be an open question.
Most Wisconsinites will find several choices on the Health Insurance Marketplace during open enrollment for 2017.
Most public discussion and media coverage about the ACA has focused on the fact that premiums for many insurance policies will likely be going up and that the number of available plans is decreasing. But the law also creates subsidies for a broad range of people.
The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance is holding town halls to talk to Wisconsinites buying health insurance on the federal marketplace. People have fewer choices this year because several insurers have pulled out of the exchange due to low profits.
Twenty-six percent of U.S. adults say they or someone in their household has had problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months. But medical bills should not be ignored.
For people with health insurance who want to see a doctor or get other care, the first step is understanding where to go that is covered by the specific plan.
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Many insurers in the federal health insurance marketplace in Wisconsin are seeking rate increases in premiums, including some in the double digits. ABC for Health executive director Bobby Peterson discusses the factors at play.
Making financial decisions about health insurance can be difficult for people who are unable to understand what's included in their coverage plans.