Countdown to Coverage: Meet the Marketplace
With less than one month until more options for affordable health coverage are available through the Affordable Care Act, I want to introduce you to something new and wonderful. Texans, meet the new Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace is a new way to compare and shop for health insurance that fits your budget. You can sign up starting on October 1.
Marketplace, meet Texans. One-in-four Texans lack health insurance, many of whom will benefit from the easier shopping experience and financial help offered in the Marketplace.
Would you like to get to know the Marketplace better? Keep reading.
How does it work?
The Marketplace will offer a variety of private health insurance plans. All plans will have a comprehensive core of benefits including doctor visits, hospitalization, maternity, mental health care, and prescriptions.
Comparing health plans in the Marketplace will be easy, with all of your options in one place and information on prices and benefits written in more simple language. Through the Marketplace you can compare plans before you enroll based on what is important to you: price, benefits, quality, etc.
Most people who enroll in the Marketplace will also qualify for financial help with the cost of coverage.
Who can shop in the Marketplace?
The Marketplace is open to individuals who:
- Live in the United States;
- Are U.S. citizens or nationals, or are lawfully present; and
- Are not currently incarcerated
Small employers (with 50 or fewer employees) will also be able to compare and buy job-based coverage for their business through the Marketplace.
Will it fit my budget?
Financial assistance is available through the Marketplace and is based on your income and family size.
An individual could qualify for lower monthly premiums if he/she earns between about $11,500 and $46,000 a year. And a family of four with income of about $23,600 to $94,200 could qualify for lower premiums. The lower your income is within this range, the more help you’ll get with premiums.
Some people can also qualify for reduced deductibles and copayments, if their income is below about $28,700 for an individual, or $48,800 for a family of four.
What can you do today?
The plans and prices for health coverage in Texas through the Marketplace won’t be available until October 1. Until then you can learn more about the Marketplace, financial assistance, how to enroll, small employer coverage, new consumer protections and more at www.HealthCare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Written by Stacey Pogue
This piece is cross-posted from the BETTER TEXAS Blog by the Center for Public Policy Priorities. The CPPP health care team will be posting several times per week leading up to Oct. 1. as part of their "Countdown to Coverage" blog series.