Starting from October 1st 2013, as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), new health insurance marketplaces are open in each state to help patients sign up for health care coverage. The American College of Physicians (ACP) has resources available to address questions about changes in coverage and help physicians provide their patients with information about how to use the new marketplaces. The "Help Your Patients Enroll in Health Insurance Marketplaces" resource center will allow patients to get information directly from their physicians, a resource that is already known to be an especially trusted source.

"With the imminent expansion of health insurance coverage and the cascade of new rules and deadlines affecting our practices and our patients, physicians are undergoing changes unlike any in memory," said ACP President Molly Cooke, MD, FACP, "ACP can provide physicians with a trusted source of information to help their patients."

The resource center highlights general information available to internists and their patients, and answers to frequently-asked-questions about insurance enrollment. In addition, ACP has assembled state-specific resources for internists and patients including patient enrollment guides that explain to patients how they can get help in signing up for coverage through their state's marketplace.

"Studies by the Institute of Medicine and others show that being without health insurance is associated with preventable mortality and unnecessary suffering, so helping uninsured patients take advantage of the new coverage options can literally be a matter of life and death for some patients," continued Dr. Cooke.

"Let me close by saying that as challenging as these times are for American healthcare, we also have an enormous opportunity to make things better for our patients," said Dr. Cooke, "We as physicians want to ensure that health care reform is implemented in a way that truly helps our patients. Helping them gain access to affordable health insurance is one way to make sure that they see the advantages that this law has to offer."