Article at a Glance
Coming in October, individuals will be able to start enrolling for insurance coverage using the new Health Insurance Marketplace.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is an online, competitive marketplace where individuals, families, and small businesses can shop for private insurance. The marketplace is intended to make shopping for health insurance easier and more transparent. Here are some of the key features you can expect to see.
So far Utah is the only state that will have two marketplaces. Utah already has the state-run Avenue H, which is designed for small-businesses and was opened in 2010. The federal government will be managing the new marketplace intended for individuals.
What You Will Need to Consider
Before October, you will want to ask yourself some questions.
What kind of insurance is available to me?
Can you currently get insurance through your employer or through the employer of a spouse or parent? Is your employer planning on offering coverage under the new law in 2015? Do you qualify for Medicaid either now or in the future?
What kinds of things am I looking for with my medical coverage?
Do you want to be able to stay with your current doctor? Do you need a plan that will cover you if you will be residing out of state? Do you or your family have any special medical needs?
Do I know how health insurance works?
Knowing about things like copays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums will help you make better decisions when shopping for health insurance. You can learn more at the government’s website – www.healthcare.gov.
How much do I want to budget for health care?
Different plans will have different levels of coverage. Decide how much you can and want to budget.
What is my income?
Pull together information about your household income. This will help you check to see if you qualify for federal assistance.
Thinking about these things ahead of time will help you decide whether or not it makes more sense to go through your employer (when possible) or to sign up for private insurance through the Marketplace.
In the next article we will be covering whether or not you have to purchase health coverage and what kind of financial assistance you can expect from the government.