The Affordable Care Act (health care reform bill) created a new way to buy health insurance: the Health Insurance Marketplace. Starting October 1st, individuals will be able to submit a single application to the Marketplace to see all the health plans available in their area.
On October 1st, the Health Insurance Marketplace application be available at www.healthcare.gov. To find out information about a specific State’s exchange visit www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/individual/#state=maryland and choose your state from the drop down menu. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2014!
Individuals/families will need to set up an account, and enter some information about themselves and their household, income, any current health coverage, and so on. After that, information will be shown all the health insurance options available, including private plans, and for some households, free and low-cost coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Plans in the marketplace will be in four categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The higher level the plan, the higher the premium and the more the plan pay’s of the cost of health benefits. Whatever the level, all plans must cover at least the following:
- Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
- Emergency services
- Maternity and newborn care
- Mental health and substance use disorder services
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services
For people with disabilities, perhaps the most important thing about the Marketplace is that the majority of insurance plans can no longer deny people with preexisting health conditions. Also, insurance companies can no longer have lifetime limits on coverage.
After October 1st, individuals will be able to visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to find local organizations to assist in understanding coverage options and enroll in a plan. Local help will include insurance agents and brokers, health insurance navigators, and government agencies. For questions or more information, visit healthcare.gov or call 800/318-2596, 855/889-4325 (TTY)
Additionally there will be a conference call from the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships on the health care law Friday, September 20th, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. ET. High level Administration officials will join the call. To RSVP, please register for this call at ems6.intellor.com?p=600107&do=register&t=1.
We are posting this for information purposes only to support our patrons and readers. We are not affiliated in any way with any agency or organization administering the Affordable Care Act.