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Understanding New Health Insurance Laws

Doctor holding stethoscopeThe new Health Insurance Marketplace is here!

This key part of the health care law opened for business on October 1, 2013.

About the Marketplace

The best place for the latest, most accurate, information for individuals and small businesses is at the updated website HealthCare.gov. At this site, you can:

  • Learn what the Marketplace is.
  • Find out who can apply for insurance
  • Find out how to get insurance.
  • Learn how to lower your costs.
  • Print checklists.
  • Watch videos to help you get ready to apply and enroll.
  • Get help finding health insurance that fits your budget and meets your needs.
  • Participate in an online web chat. You may also call 1-800-318-2596 to speak with a trained customer service representative.

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, preventative care and prescriptions. Plans in the Marketplace must treat you fairly and 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. (Source: Marketplace.cms.gov)

 How the Marketplace Works
  1.  Apply. Starting October 1, 2013 you’ll enter information about you and your family, including your income, household size, and more.
  2. Visit HealthCare.gov to get a checklist to help you gather the information you’ll need.
  3. Create an account. First provide some basic information. Then choose a user name, password, and security questions for added protection.
  4. Pick a plan. Next you’ll see all the plans and programs you’re eligible for and compare them side-by-side. You’ll also find out if you can get lower costs on monthly premiums and out-of pocket costs.
  5. Enroll. Choose a plan that meets your needs and enroll! Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014.
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