Health Department

Health Insurance Marketplace

Health Insurance Marketplace
by Larry D. Jones, MPH, Health Director
August 20, 2013

Are You Ready? The health insurance marketplace is coming.

No doubt you’re starting to hear about the new Health Insurance Marketplace, a key part of the health care law that will be open for business and enrollment Tuesday, October 1. But you probably still have questions. Like what is the Marketplace? And, can you really get health insurance?

The best place for the latest, most accurate, information on the Marketplace is the updated website, At the site, you can learn what it is, who can apply for insurance, how to get insurance, how to lower your costs, and more. If you own a small business, there’s information for you, too.

Starting this fall, the Marketplace will help you find health insurance that fits your budget and meets your needs, with less hassle. You can read information that pertains to you, print checklists, and watch videos to help you get ready to apply and enroll.

No matter where you live, you may buy insurance from private health plans that cover a comprehensive set of benefits, including doctor visits, hospital stays, preventive care, and prescriptions. And plans in the Marketplace must treat you fairly; they can’t deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

With a single application, you can also see if you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or savings you can use right away to lower your health insurance premiums.

You and your family will be able to explore every qualified health plan in your area, and fill out an application when you’re ready. You’ll be able to take control with better information, including details about benefits and prices presented in clear language you can understand, so you’ll know what your premiums, deductibles, and other costs will be before you make a choice.

Once you’ve decided on a plan, you don’t need to go anywhere else. You’ll be able to enroll in the Marketplace directly for coverage that begins as soon as January 1, 2014.

Want help or need more information? As you explore your options on the Marketplace, you may want to get some help. You can participate in an online web chat on the website; or call a toll free number, 1-800-318-2596, to speak with a trained customer service representative.

Visit now to get all the information you need about the Marketplace. Come back October 1, fill out an application and enroll.