The Health Insurance Marketplace is a tool to help you find insurance that is right for you at an affordable price. The Marketplace is part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), sometimes called “Obamacare.” It will help uninsured and under-insured individuals and families find all the information they need about available health plans in one place. Most people who use the Marketplace will also qualify for tax credits, which work like discounts to lower the cost of the health plan they purchase. Keep reading for enrollment assistance options.
For Marketplace enrollment help, attend an upcoming Marketplace enrollment event or visit or call a Greater New Orleans community health center offering assistance. Upcoming Marketplace enrollment events offer an opportunity to receive in-person enrollment assistance at a convenient location. Click here for a list of community health center locations offering enrollment assistance daily.
An additional Marketplace, called the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) will be available for employers to shop for insurance coverage for their employees. For more information on the SHOP, see: www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses.
View the Marketplace Fact Sheet for more information.
What to Expect
- Most people will interact with the Marketplace online through its website, www.healthcare.gov.
- The Marketplace will display a range of health insurance plans in your area and allow you to pick a plan based on how much coverage you want and how much you want to pay for it.
- All plans will have to cover check-ups, hospital care, and prescription drugs, as well as labs, maternity care, mental health care, pediatric care, rehabilitative services and vision and dental care for children.
- If you enter some information about yourself, such as how many people are in your family and your household income, the Marketplace will also determine whether you’re eligible for a tax credit to help you pay for the plan you choose. To see how large a credit you may qualify for, see the Kaiser Family Foundation Subsidy Calculator.
- Once the Marketplace determines your credit, you can apply that credit to the plan of your choice. The credit will lower your monthly premiums and in some cases may even reduce them to $0.
- Lower-income people will receive larger credits and higher income people will receive smaller credits. If you don’t qualify for a credit, you may still qualify for free or low-cost primary and mental health care through the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection.
How to Enroll
- Open enrollment in Marketplace plans begins on October 1, 2013 and closes on March 31, 2014. Enroll by December 15, 2013 to make sure your coverage starts on January 1.
- Fill out an online application at www.healthcare.gov. For those without internet access, visit your local community health center, library, or Medicaid office. You can also call a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-318-2596.
- For face-to-face assistance, contact your local community health center, or the Health Department’s Marketplace specialists at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
- Remember that most people who do not find health insurance for 2014 will have to pay a fee on their taxes. The fee will be 1% of your income (ex: someone making $25,000/year would owe $250). There are some exceptions for low-income people, Native Americans and others.
For More Information
- Understanding tax credits: consumersunion.org/topic/health-care/tax-credit
- Why have health insurance? www.healthcare.gov/why-should-i-have-health-coverage/
- Health insurance options for young adults: health.younginvincibles.org/consumers-2/
- Free preventive series on Marketplace plans: www.healthcare.gov/what-are-my-preventive-care-benefits/