What Is The Health Insurance Marketplace?
If you visit HealthCare.gov, you will find the portal to the new marketplace for individual, family, and small business health insurance plans. There is not actually only one marketplace. Several states run their own exchanges, but the website will direct you to the right solution for your location.
Yes, there was certainly a lot of frustration, and a few I-told-you-so’s, when the Affordable Care Act’s site failed to function properly. It is possible that Teddy Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, famous Republican supporters of health reform, were spinning in their graves. Of course, it is possible that they never really knew what a website was.
The U.S. Healthcare Marketplace Is Open
While somebody should probably look into that particular issue, other people might be very wise to take advantage of the functioning website to consider their options. The site is fairly simple and intuitive. It walks the user through a series of basic questions that are much less intrusive than old health insurance applications ever were.
Set aside an hour or more to answer the questions and browse different marketplace health insurance options. You can stop at any time and resume your session. You might even want to call the private companies that offer exchange plans to ask questions. You are also free to call the toll-free government help line at any time for assistance.
Also, give the system a few minutes to send out your confirmation email after you register. Some users were confused by the fact that they did not get that email for almost 30 minutes, and they wondered if they had done something wrong.
Who Can Find Coverage Under The New Exchanges?
This site is mostly for people who are not covered by employer-based group plans and small businesses. People with any income level can apply for medical coverage here, as long as they satisfy the other criteria. However, the system will automatically calculate tax credits or other subsidies. If you want, you can even automatically apply those credits to the premium of your plan.
What Type Of Medical Insurance Plans Are offered?
Remember that these are private health insurers. However, all plans have to conform to established Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels. Bronze plans are cheapest, and they provide lower levels of coverage. Platinum plans are more expensive, and they provide the most generous coverage. You can still find a lot of variation within those levels.
There are typical types of U.S. medical policies. These include HSAs, PPOs, and HMOs. It might be prudent to research these different types of plans before you simply select one based upon the price.
Here’s the short summary of the differences between these types of health policies. PPOs and HMOs are both network plans. Typically, you will find that PPO plans are less restrictive, but they may be more expensive and provide less coverage than HMO plans. HSAs might be good for people who can take advantage of tax deductions.
Why Not Consider Your Marketplace Options?
As long as the website is functioning, this is a good time to register for free and find out what your own options are. If Teddy Roosevelt is aware of our current problems, it seems likely that is what he would expect out of Americans.