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Starting October 1, 2013, the Health Insurance Marketplace, sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange” will begin open enrollment. Coverage starts January 1, 2014.

 

The Marketplace website, HealthCare.gov is the primary tool for delivering information to Americans about health coverage options.

Quick facts about the Health Insurance Marketplace

  • The Health Insurance Marketplace is for people seeking insurance or who are uninsured. Generally, people who currently have insurance through their workplace, who have insurance through Medicaid/KanCare, Medicare, Healthwave/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Tricare or the Veterans health care program are not the target of this open enrollment period.
  • Most people will be eligible for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • The Marketplace is a new way to find quality health coverage. It can help if you don’t have coverage now or if you have it but want to look at other options.
  • The Marketplace simplifies your search for health coverage by gathering the options available in your area in one place. You can compare plans based on price, benefits, and other features important to you before you make a choice. Plans will be presented in four categories – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum – to make comparing them easier.
  • Insurance plans in the Marketplace are offered by private companies. They cover the same core set of benefits called essential health benefits. No plan can turn you away or charge you more because you have an illness or medical condition. They must cover treatments for these conditions. Plans can’t charge women more than men for the same plan. Many preventive services are covered at no cost to you.

Want to learn more about how it works?  Watch these videos

Watch this 6 minute video about the Health Insurance Marketplace APPLICATION

This video introduces an interactive online application process for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace on HealthCare.gov. Using an example of a single man from Arizona, images of computer screens from the application unfold while a narrator explains the content of each screen. The program concludes with a printable summary of the application and an explanation of what benefits will be received.

Watch this 4 minute video about the Health Insurance Marketplace ENROLLMENT

This video introduces the Marketplace enrollment process for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace on HealthCare.gov. Using the same individual from the Marketplace Application video as an example, the scenario continues, as he follows step-by-step instructions on how to find and enroll in a health plan. Images of computer screens from the Marketplace enrollment process unfold while a narrator explains the content of each screen. The program concludes with a successful completion of all enrollment steps, and how to contact the health plan to submit payment.

Find answers to your questions

The questions section at http://healthcare.gov features answers on many topics.

Telephone assistance for the Health Insurance Marketplace is available 24/7 – 1-800-318-2596

Find local application assistance

Visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov to find help in your area. More sites are listed each day leading up to October 1. You can search by city and state or zip code to see a list of local organizations with contact information, office hours, and types of help offered, such as non-English language support, Medicaid or CHIP, and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). When open enrollment starts October 1, 2013, these organizations will be able to assist you in finding the kind of help that works for you.

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