Health insurance is a financial burden faced by many American families. Many have problems finding a plan that is affordable and manageable. Those that struggle are often unaware of their options and the help available.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is a federal government run system providing plans from private health and dental insurance companies. This accessible system offers aid for those in need and does more than some may think. Using a licensed insurance agent can clear up the mystery and there is no extra charge or higher premium.
The first misconception with these plans is that they are quite limited in scope and only offer the basics to a select few. This is not true at all.
There are lots of health or dental plan options for different needs. And the system will analyze each application to see if a person or family qualifies for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This means that low-income families can benefit from a choice of solutions that could save them money.
This choice also allows applicants to shop around a little. There is the chance to compare options, consider costs and premiums and weigh the pros and cons.
The Marketplace is open to every US Citizen or US Resident that is not covered under an employee group plan.
There is no set rule that only full-time workers or those with certain statuses can enroll. This is vital for those that immediately assume that they are ineligible due to personal circumstances.
Those with a student health plan have the option of switching medical coverage via the marketplace. While this may sound like a hassle, it could save money in the long run. The same applies for those considered self-employed that automatically assume they cannot get the same level of health insurance.
There is also no discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions. This means that those with cancer, heart attack risks, diabetes or other life-limiting illness are on the same level as healthier applicants. Rates are based on your zip code, current age, and smoking status.
Then there are those members of federally recognized tribes that may question their status in this marketplace. Here officially registered tribe members can enroll at any point and change plans frequently.
This issue of enrollment periods is an important part of the application process.
While there is an enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace, there is also a Special Enrollment Periods for special life events. The Annual Open enrollment lasts from 11-1-2017 till 12-15-2017, which is only 45 days and is a shorter time frame than years past.
Those that deal with massive life changes can apply to resubmit a claim outside of this period for a new, more beneficial plan. These life changes include economic changes affecting the ability to pay. This includes changes in income and outgoings, like alimony or child supports.
Those that get married, divorced or bring children into the household can apply using the special enrollment period rule, but it has to be within 60 days of the date of the life changing event. Furthermore, it is also possible to appeal a decision.
Those that receive a plan that doesn’t meet their needs, or feels that could do better, can try for an appeal. There is no guarantee that those making the decision will agree. Still, families struggling to pay may find it worth their time to apply on healthcare.gov for a tax premium credit or also called a subsidy.
The Marketplace offers more to applicants than many first assume. The idea of federal help and private companies can put some people off. This system is accessible, adaptable and designed to help on an individual level. Using a health insurance agent to guide you through the process is the easiest thing to do, and there is not extra charge or higher price for the health plans they help you select. So why not use this free service and get all your questions answered?