Obamacare's 21-Page Application (Sort Of)

| Thu Mar. 14, 2013 11:01 AM EDT

For a minute, Sarah Kliff had me scared. Obamacare requires a 21-page application!? Well, yes it does, but in fairness, there's a single 2-page section you have to fill out, and then there are five more 2-page sections for other members of your family. So sure, it might be long if you have a big family, but a lot of it is repetition. And if you're just a single earner? Then aside from instructions, there's really only about four pages (five if you're an American Indian or Alaska Native): one page of basic contact information, two pages of income information, and one page of current insurance information. And even the repetitive pages you mostly leave blank if they apply to your children, who have no income or job information.

So....not so bad, really. But it sure might look intimidating. And, as Sarah says, help will probably be available for most people:

There are likely a lot of support services that will start springing up over the next few months. This could include traditional agents and brokers, whose whole line of business is understanding applications like this one. The Affordable Care Act also envisions a group of navigators, financed by state exchanges, who will—as the name implies—help navigate the insurance system.

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