Blue Cross Blue Shield holds free information session on new healthcare reform law

By: Lauren Fabrizi

Blue Cross Blue Shield held a free information session on the new healthcare reform law Wednesday at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln.

With open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act in effect since Oct. 1, many people are still confused.

“I'm going to start Medicaid next year and I know I'm going to need a supplement,” Marcia Worth said. “I don't know where my current insurance is going to be standing.”

“We got to some questions of where we're going from here since rates have changed, insurance premiums have changed, and stuff like that,” Ben Dahlberg added.

Tom Gilsdorf of Blue Cross Blue Shield said a major concern is that people who aren't already covered by their employer need to look into getting coverage for the new year.

“For Nebraskans and the country in general, if you don't have qualified coverage in 2014, you would likely be subject to a penalty,” Gilsdorf said.

He said that penalty will come in the form of a tax. He said single individuals will need to pay the government a maximum of $95 in the first year. Families will need to pay a $285 maximum.

Gilsdorf also said another area of concern is that many people don't think they're eligible for help in paying their premiums. He said single individuals with an income of under $46,000 a year, or families of four making less than $94,000 a year, are eligible.

“We're really encouraging people to sit down with an agent or insurance advisor to figure how to navigate both the marketplace and then some of the navigators with healthcare reform,” Gilsdorf said.

You can apply for coverage and get more information at

If you want coverage by Jan. 1, you must apply by Dec. 15., but open enrollment runs until March 31.