Many consumers are mystified by all of the talk about the Affordable Care Act.
The people assigned to represent consumer interests in the proceedings of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Kansas City, Mo., make that case in position papers posted on the NAIC/Consumer Liaison Committee section of the NAIC’s website.
The consumer representatives posted the papers in time for the NAIC’s fall meeting in Orlando, Fla.
The consumer reps also were talking about issues such as retained asset accounts and efforts to return abandoned insurance funds, but implementation of the Affordable Care Act — the federal legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — inspired a majority of the positions papers and other documents posted by the NAIC/Consumer Liaison Committee.
Republicans say their surveys show many Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act.
The NAIC consumer reps say they believe surveys and press reports have documented widespread public confusion about just how the act might affect private health insurance. Groups that work with consumers have encountered the same kind of confusion, the consumer reps say.
Much of the confusion stems from misundertandings about what is in the Affordable Care Act, when the provisions will take effect, and what terms such as “annual limits” and “lifetime limits” mean, the consumer reps say.
In some cases, the consumer reps report, consumer beliefs about the act are wildly off the mark. The reps say act supporters should directly address myths about the Affordable Care Act.
“For example,” the reps suggest, “the myth that it requires people who want public insurance to be implanted with a microchip.”
The best way to spread accurate information and correct myths is to get accurate information to community leaders and community institutions that consumers already trust, the reps say.