Insurance Marketplace: Tip sheet for individuals
Katie Carpenter | 09.30.13
“On Oct. 1, open enrollment in the new federal health insurance exchange, or marketplace, will begin,” explained Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine. “This is a six-month enrollment period and coverage will not be effective until Jan. 1, 2014 at the earliest. Consumers should be patient and take their time to understand their new options.”
Explore the tools and resources below to prepare for enrollment, understand your options for coverage, and find help navigating the marketplace.
How do I access the Marketplace?
Visit the Health Insurance Marketplace
The site, www.PAHealthOptions.com, includes information about current health insurance options as well as the new health exchange option.
It provides visitors with a link to the federal portal at www.Healthcare.gov to learn more and apply for coverage.
Who should shop for insurance at the Marketplace?
Individuals who have their own health coverage or employer-based plan are not required to do anything on the federal exchange to keep that coverage in place.
An individual whose current plan is changing or terminating may go to either website mentioned above or contact a health insurance company or producer to purchase insurance.
This video explains a bit more about how the marketplace works:
Need help with enrollment?
“People will have questions and concerns about how the law will affect them,” Secretary of Public Welfare Beverly D. Mackereth said. “We are focused on providing access to helpful information no matter where they choose to turn for their health coverage.”
The Marketplace will offer several kinds of assistance to help you apply for coverage and choose a plan that meets your needs.
- online questions and answers
- online chat — available now
- a toll-free call center—available 24/7 at 1-800-318-2596
- people in your community trained to help you apply and enroll
Help in your community
In all states, there will be people trained and certified to help you understand your health coverage options and enroll in a plan. They will be known by different names, depending on who provides the service and where they are located. Visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov to find help in your area.
All will provide similar kinds of help:
- Application assisters
- Certified application counselors
- Government agencies, such as State Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Offices
- Insurance agents and brokers can also help you with your application and choices.
All private health insurance plans offered in the Marketplace will offer the same set of essential health benefits. These are services all plans must cover.
Estimate How Much Subsidy You Could Get in 2014: Don't have health insurance, or switching to individual insurance? Would you like an estimate of how much you could get to help pay the costs of your health insurance premiums in 2014? Find out in a couple clicks!
The Affordable Care Act
There are four key questions that you need to ask in order to prepare yourself for the Affordable Care Act.
What families need to know about the Affordable Care Act starting October 1st, 2013.
We've rounded up some of our favorite videos on the health law to refresh you and prepare you for some of the upcoming changes that will impact you.
Test your own knowledge about the Affordable Care Act by taking this short, 10-question quiz.
2014 is coming--are you ready for Obamacare? Join the YouToons as they walk through the basic changes in the way Americans will get health coverage and what it will cost starting in 2014, when major parts of the ACA, also known as "Obamacare," go into effect. Watch below:
Tell us: Do you have questions about the insurance marketplace? Will you be using it to purchase insurance? please share your thoughts in a comment below.
You may also be interested in...
- More employers pushing employees to pay more for health care
- Exercise is actually a form of medicine
- You're invited to the 2014 Farm to Table Dinner!
- Caring for the Caregiver
- Ad-hoc organizations fill cracks that remain in health care system
- Capital Blue Cross facing deadline to fix problems in Medicare programs