Health Insurance Marketplace
The Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange), a product of the Affordable Care Act, was created primarily for those who do not currently carry health insurance.
What Does the Marketplace Do?
The Marketplace offers side-by-side comparisons of local plans based on price, benefits and other features. Plans will be presented in four categories – bronze, silver, gold and platinum. The Marketplace application will also help an individual determine if they are eligible for lower coverage costs based on income and determine if they qualify for free or low-cost coverage available through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Insurance plans in the Marketplace are offered by private companies, including Community Care, offering the same core set of benefits called essential health benefits. No plan can turn an individual away or charge them more because of a pre-existing illness or medical condition and plans must cover treatments for these conditions. Many preventive services are covered at no cost to the individual.
Dates You Should Know
As mentioned above, Marketplace enrollment begins October 1, when plans and pricing become available. Open enrollment ends March 31, 2014. Heath coverage can begin January 1, 2014 if enrollment is completed by December 15.
How to Apply
Individuals may apply for the Health Insurance Marketplace online at www.healthcare.gov, by mail or in-person with the help of a Navigator or a Certified Application Counselor (CAC), personnel trained to answer questions regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace and to help with enrollment. Consumers who want general information about the Marketplace or St. John Health System may call the St. John PulseLine at 918-744-0123.
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