In just two months, on October 1st, the Health Insurance Marketplace opens for business and gives those who are uninsured or who buy their own insurance a one-stop place to search for health insurance.
What is “The Marketplace”?
Through the on-line Marketplace, you will only need to fill out one application to gather all of your health insurance options in one place. You’ll be able to compare plans and explore any free or low-cost programs you may qualify for. These may include AHCCCS or subsidies for insurance and lower out-of-pocket costs. When you are ready to enroll, you’ll simply choose one of the plans and be forwarded to that company’s website to finalize the coverage.
Why is The Marketplace Happening?
Under the Affordable Care Act, most individuals in the U.S. will be required to have health insurance. Otherwise, they will pay a penalty on their taxes beginning in 2014. The goal is to share the risk and provide the benefits of quality health care to everyone in our country, thereby lowering the overall costs of a healthy population.
The Marketplace makes it easier to shop for health insurance by providing a one-stop place to compare policies that have been pre-screened for quality and affordability.
What do You Need to Do?
If you have employer-sponsored coverage that you like, you do not have to do a thing.
If you are uninsured or would like to explore more options, you can start getting ready to use the Marketplace now by:
- Educating yourself
- Learn more about the Marketplace and health insurance requirements by visiting HealthCare.gov
- Learn a little about how insurance works. You’ll be far ahead if you understand how premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket copays work.
- Think about your family’s situation and needs
- Make a list of questions to use in evaluating the various plans. Do you want to stay with your current doctor? Do you have a lot of prescriptions? Do you need coverage while traveling? Do you want to pay more in premiums to save out of pocket costs?
- Set your budget. There will be different levels of health plans to choose from to meet a variety of needs and budgets. You’ll need to figure out how much you can spend on premiums each month.
- Gather basic information about your household income. Most people using the Marketplace will qualify to save money. You’ll need income information like the kind you get on your W-2, pay stub or tax return to figure that out.
What if You Need Help Understanding All of This?
Adelante Healthcare will be here to help. We will have counselors available at each of our sites to help you apply and sort through your options.