Important Information for UTMB Employees on New Federal Health Insurance Marketplace
On Oct. 1, a major provision of the Affordable Care Act went into effect with the opening of online health insurance exchanges throughout the U.S. Also called the Health Insurance Marketplace, the exchanges allow uninsured Americans to access affordable coverage that will take effect beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
Many UTMB employees have asked about the effect of these exchanges on themselves, their families and the university as a whole. I wanted to offer a response to specific questions we have received, as a follow up to the Oct. 1 message from the UT System Benefits Office:
- If you are currently covered under the Blue Cross/Blue Shield health plan offered by UT System for UTMB employees, you do not have to take any action. Your coverage will continue without interruption.
- If you are included on your spouse’s plan at a non-UT System employer, you should check with that organization to see if they are planning to make any changes in who is eligible for coverage. Any UTMB employee who loses health coverage from his or her spouse’s employer should contact the UTMB Benefits Office within 31 daysfor information on enrolling in UTMB’s plan.
- If you get calls from the public or questions from the community regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace, please refer them to UTMB Financial Counseling at 409.772.6464. Our financial counselors are now certified to help individuals navigate the online Health Insurance Marketplace.
- UTMB caregivers may be interested to know that the university will be a provider for Health Insurance Marketplace plans offered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield, CIGNA and Community (formerly Community Health Choice).
To find out more about the Health Insurance Marketplace and the Affordable Care Act, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/. You may also want to attend the next UTMB Health System Brown Bag Lunch on Nov. 13, where Becky Korenek, vice president for clinical contracting strategies, will discuss the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Dr. David L. Callender