Health Insurance Exchanges
Beginning October 2013, health insurance marketplaces, or “exchanges,” are available online, by phone, or through a person trained and certified to help you enroll in a plan. In the exchanges, plans compete with each other, ideally providing consumers with the most competitive premiums. Open enrollment starts Oct. 1, 2013, and coverage takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Ohio and Michigan residents can apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll by visiting HealthCare.gov. You can also find people in your community who are trained and certified to help you apply and enroll in a plan.
The Marketplace for Individuals and Families
Watch the following video to learn more about health insurance exchanges.
Marketplace Enrollment Checklist
View a checklist from ProMedica to help you prepare and make the best choice for enrollment in the insurance marketplace.
Understanding the Exchanges 101
View a slide presentation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services explaining health insurance exchanges.
What You Need to Know
As a consumer, below are the top 10 things you should know about the health insurance exchanges:
1. If you do not already have health coverage, the exchanges are a new way to find and buy health coverage that fits your budget and meets your needs.
2. Open enrollment starts Oct. 1, 2013, and ends on March 31, 2014. Coverage starts as soon as Jan. 1, 2014.
3. Not only can you view and compare health insurance options online, but with one simple application, you can have those options tailored to your personal situation and find out if you might be eligible, based on your income, for financial assistance to lower your costs.
4. The same application lets you find out if you and your family members might qualify for free or low-cost coverage available through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
5. The information is all available online, but you can apply four ways: online, by phone, by mail, or in person with the help of a person trained and certified to help you enroll in a plan.
6. Each health plan generally offers comprehensive coverage, including a core set of essential health benefits like doctor visits, preventive care, maternity care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and more.
7. No matter where you live, there is an exchange in your state, offering plans from private companies where you are able to compare your health coverage options based on price, benefits, quality, and other features important to you before you make a choice.
8. Health insurance companies selling plans through an exchange cannot deny you coverage or charge you more due to pre-existing health conditions, and they cannot charge women and men different premiums based on gender.
9. Exchanges are operated by your state, the federal government, or a partnership of the two, but each exchange gives you the same access to all of your coverage options. Both Ohio and Michigan have exchanges operated through a partnership with the federal government.
10. For more information, visit HealthCare.gov. You can also call the Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TTY users should call 855-889-4325.