The Marketplace will also tell you if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage available through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Health Insurance Marketplaces: What do you need to know?
Health Insurance Marketplaces are state-based competitive Marketplaces where people and small businesses can shop for and buy private health insurance. The Marketplaces are not private insurance companies or government-run health plans.
With one application, consumers can find out if they qualify for health plans in the Marketplace, and other programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), tax credits and cost-sharing reductions.
Consumers can apply for coverage and enroll in a health plan through the Marketplace starting October 1, 2013, and coverage starts January 1, 2014.
I keep hearing about the Affordable Care Act in 2014. What does this really mean to me?
Whether you need health insurance coverage or have it already, the health care law offers important rights and protections. Here are 10 ways the health care law protects you today and in 2014:
1. Creates the Health Insurance Marketplace, Creates the Health Insurance Marketplace, a new way for you to get health coverage.
2. Requires insurance companies to cover you if you have a pre-existing condition.
3. Provides free preventive care.
4. Covers young adults under age 26.
5. Helps you understand what you’re getting with a clear Summary of Benefits and Coverage.
6. Holds insurance companies accountable by reviewing rate increases and making sure you get more value for your premium dollars.
7. Makes it illegal for health insurance companies to arbitrarily cancel your health insurance just because you get sick.
8. Protects your choice of doctors.
9. Ends lifetime and yearly dollar limits on coverage of essential health benefits.
10. Guarantees your right to appeal a health plan decision.
11. Learn even more about how the Affordable Care Act affects you.
I already have insurance through my employer. Will anything change?
If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it. You’re considered covered. You may be able to change to Marketplace coverage if you want to.
Any job-based health plan you currently have qualifies as minimum essential coverage. You don’t need to change to a Marketplace plan in order to avoid the fee that uninsured people may have to pay for 2014. If you’d like to explore Marketplace coverage options, please check here for more information.
What is the Marketplace in my state?
No matter where you live, you’ll be able to use the Marketplace to apply for coverage, compare your options and enroll.
If I have questions or want more information, who should I contact?
The federal government offers its Health Insurance Marketplace education effort through a new, consumer focused website. Consumers can access this website 24 hours per day/seven days per week. Visit www.healthcare.gov.
You can also get information by phone 24 hours per day/seven days per week: 1-800-318-2596.
In addition, consumers can go to the healthcare.gov website and sign up for email and/or text message updates.
Se habla espanol? Go to www.CuidadoDeSalud.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.
Open Enrollment doesn’t start until October. What should I be doing now?
If you are going to be accessing the Marketplace in your state, then we suggest you start thinking about the following items.
7 things you can do to get ready now:
1. Learn about different types of health insurance. Through the Marketplace, you’ll be able to choose a health plan that gives you the right balance of costs and coverage. While plans and prices won’t be available until October, you can get a personalized checklist. Go to:
2. Make a list of questions you have before it’s time to choose your health plan. For example, “Can I stay with my current doctor?” or “Will this plan cover my health costs when I’m traveling?”
3. Make sure you understand how insurance works, including deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, copayments, etc. You’ll want to consider these details while you’re shopping around. Visit Insurance Basics to learn more about how insurance works.
4. Start gathering basic information about your household income. Most people will qualify to get a break on costs, and you’ll need income information to find out how much you’re eligible for.
5. Set your budget. There will be different types of health plans to meet a variety of needs and budgets, and breaking them down by cost can help narrow your choices.
6. Find out from your employer whether they plan to offer health insurance, especially if you work for a small business.
7. Explore current options. You may be able to get help with insurance now, through existing programs or changes that are in effect already from the new health care law. Use our resources to get information about health insurance for adults up to age 26, children in families with limited incomes (CHIP), and Medicare for people who are over 65 or have disabilities.
I need help when open enrollment begins. Who can I ask?
When open enrollment starts on October 1, 2013, assisters will be available in-person to help you apply and understand your options. Information about these services in your community will be available then..