August 1, 2013
HELENA – Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica J. Lindeen today launched a new website where Montanans can ask questions and find answers about the complicated, new federal health reform law, known as Obamacare.
"Love it or hate it, Obamacare is the law, and Montanans have a lot of questions," Lindeen said. "I didn't write the law, but as Montana's insurance commissioner, I want to make sure all Montanans have the information they need to make the best decisions they can for themselves, their families and their small businesses."
The website – www.montanahealthanswers.com – explains important insurance terms, offers Montana-specific information, and explains the biggest changes that will come to the health insurance market. It explains new consumer protections and details the kinds of federal programs that will go into effect to help Montanans afford health care coverage. The site also explains the controversial "individual mandate" and how that will affect Montanans.
Lindeen said one reason for the site is to encourage Montanans to ask questions of her office's expert insurance staff. The site invites Montanans to ask their questions directly of Lindeen's staff, with the promise that each question will be answered within five days.
Some of the changes under Obamacare – formally known as the Affordable Care Act – have already gone into effect. The most sweeping changes begin next year, when insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to Montanans. On Oct. 1, the federal government will unveil the Health Insurance Marketplace for Montana – an online insurance store where policies sold by different private, companies can be compared side-by-side and purchased directly. The Marketplace is also the only place where Montanans can obtain federal tax credits to help lower their monthly insurance premiums or obtain other discounts.