While everyone should have health insurance, some people are unable to obtain it through a job, their spouse, Medicare, Medicaid, or another source. The health insurance Marketplace was created in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act to help individuals who fall into this category. The Marketplace is also a great place to go if you are financially strained and need to save money. There are a multitude of plans available that might be able to lower your monthly bill, copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance.
Marketplace Enrollment Process
Getting started with the Marketplace enrollment process is quite simple as you will need to visit www.healthcare.gov or your state’s healthcare website. Once on the site, you will be able to quickly scan and compare plans in a side-by-side manner to determine what is available to you. From there the database will allow you to choose from four different tiers of health insurance including bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. On one end of the spectrum, the bronze plans are the least expensive but will require the highest deductibles and copays. Platinum plans, however, will be the costliest, but have many more options and coverages compared to the other tiers.
It is also during this time that you will find out whether you are eligible and qualify for the premium tax credit or a cost-sharing reduction. Cost-sharing reductions are only available on silver plans though but can help with lowering the out-of-pocket costs for copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. If you do qualify for these benefits, then you will need to buy the pan through the marketplace in order to see how much you can save.
Marketplace Enrollment Timeline
Unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you will need to make sure that you have the open enrollment period marked on your calendar. Special Enrollments occur as a result of a qualifying life event such as losing your current health coverage, having a baby, getting married or divorced, a change in income, or moving to a new zip code.
Lasting only six weeks, the open enrollment window to shop, apply, and buy an insurance plan on the marketplace is short and comes quickly. Speaking with an agent and doing your own research ahead of time is crucial to making sure you make the right decision and do not miss the deadline.
iHealthcare is Here to Help
To learn more about Marketplace insurance plans and get questions answered about your options, give us a call today at 713-900-1901. An experienced licensed agent will sit down with you and discuss your goals and needs to help find the perfect plan.