Health Insurance Marketplace: Information and Enrollment
Starting October 1, 2013, the Health Insurance Marketplace, sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange” will begin open enrollment. Coverage starts January 1, 2014.
Quick facts about the Health Insurance Marketplace
The Health Insurance Marketplace is for people seeking insurance or who are uninsured. Generally, people who currently have insurance through their workplace, who have insurance through Medicaid/KanCare, Medicare, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Tricare or the Veterans health care program are not the target of this open enrollment period.
Most people will be eligible for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
The Marketplace is a new way to find quality health coverage. It can help if you don’t have coverage now or if you have it but want to look at other options.
The Marketplace simplifies your search for health coverage by gathering the options available in your area in one place. You can compare plans based on price, benefits, and other features important to you before you make a choice. Plans will be presented in four categories – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum – to make comparing them easier.
Insurance plans in the Marketplace are offered by private companies. They cover the same core set of benefits called essential health benefits. No plan can turn you away or charge you more because you have an illness or medical condition. They must cover treatments for these conditions. Plans can’t charge women more than men for the same plan. Many preventive services are covered at no cost to you.
Want to learn more about how it works? Watch these videos
This video introduces an interactive online application process for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace on HealthCare.gov. Using an example of a single man from Arizona, images of computer screens from the application unfold while a narrator explains the content of each screen. The program concludes with a printable summary of the application and an explanation of what benefits will be received.
This video introduces the Marketplace enrollment process for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace on HealthCare.gov. Using the same individual from the Marketplace Application video as an example, the scenario continues, as he follows step-by-step instructions on how to find and enroll in a health plan. Images of computer screens from the Marketplace enrollment process unfold while a narrator explains the content of each screen. The program concludes with a successful completion of all enrollment steps, and how to contact the health plan to submit payment.
Find answers to your questions
The Info Desk at the library has handouts and bookmarks to provide information about the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Telephone assistance for the Health Insurance Marketplace is available 24/7 – 1-800-318-2596
Find local application assistance
Visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov to find help in your area. More sites are listed each day leading up to October 1. You can search by city and state or zip code to see a list of local organizations with contact information, office hours, and types of help offered, such as non-English language support, Medicaid or CHIP, and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). When open enrollment starts October 1, 2013, these organizations will be able to assist you in finding the kind of help that works for you.
Local assistance: Call Certified Navigator Rosilyn Wells at Heartland Community Health Center at (785) 841-7297, ext. 219 for assistance to set up a time for assistance in completing Health Insurance Marketplace applications
These local agencies will have Certified Navigators and Certified Application Counselors: Heartland Community Health Center, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and Catholic Charities. The Kansas Insurance Department provides local resources at http://insureks.org.
Heartland Community Health Center
1 Riverfront Plaza Suite 100
Lawrence, KS 66044
Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department
200 Maine St Lawrence, KS 66044
Lawrence Public Library
700 New Hampshire St Lawrence, KS 66044
1229 Vermont Lawrence, KS 66044
What is the Library doing to help?
The Lawrence Public Library is providing information about the Health Insurance Marketplace online and in a display of handouts at the Info Desk. We are also partnering to provide sessions with Certified navigators and and Certified Application Counselors available to help you complete the online application for the Health Insurance Marketplace and compare insurance options. Those sessions will be held in the Library Events Space at the library on:
Wed Oct 2, 3-5 pm
Thu Oct 10,1-5 pm
Fri Oct 11, 5-7 pm
Library staff cannot assist customers in completing the application or enrollment process, but can provide technology assistance in using the library’s public computers and printers. Librarians can also make referrals to local agencies with trained application assistants.
If you are a consumer and have specific questions about the Affordable Care Act, please visit www.healthcare.gov, the official Affordable Care Act website, for more information. To read more about state-wide healthcare information, view ”Healthcare in Kansas” from the Kansas Insurance Department.
(Info from healthcare.gov and Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library)