Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), every state will be opening a state health insurance exchange or “marketplace”…. eventually, but for those states without a Marketplace built there will be a Federal Marketplace Exchange set up as a default. All Federal and State Exchanges will be available for online enrollment starting November 15th, 2014 where you will be able to select a plan for your 2o15 health insurance. State sites can be found in this article posted by ZaneBenefits, and the federal site is Healthcare.govDirections

All marketplaces will be an option for individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance. So, how do you sign up?

MarketplaceInsurancePlans.com not only shows you step-by-step what Individuals, Families, and Employees will need to do to enroll in individual health insurance marketplaces, but we are a great resource for the SHOP marketplaces and continuing updates about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as “Obamacare”. Be sure to add us on all of your social media websites like Facebook and follow our twitter feed.

Here are the steps to assist you in signing up. We recommend that you call us to help you with all of these items, but here are the steps.

Step 1: Figure Out: State Based Marketplace or a Federally Facilitated Marketplace?

At the top of this site you will see a list of the states that we sell Marketplace plans in. With the exception of California all of those states will default to the Federal Exchange. If you do not see your state at the top of our site, we do not sell in that state, but are happy to provide you with a list of were you can find information about your state’s exchange. To look up your state’s marketplaces website use this link: State by State Guide to Health Insurance Marketplaces.

Step 2: Set Up Your Marketplace Exchange Account.

Create AccountOnce you have identified your Marketplace you will need to set up an account on your state’s health insurance marketplace website. There will most likely be a button that says, “sign up”, “register”, “create an account”, etc. Click on this and follow the prompts. You will then likely be required to provide basic information, and choose a user name, password, and security questions for added protection.

Tip: Step 2 can be completed on some sites prior to November 15 , 2014.

Step 3: Are You Eligible? Fill Out Your Eligibility Application

ApplicationNot everyone will be eligible for Marketplace Exchange plans, so you will need fill out an eligibility application. This application will ask questions about you and your family, such as income, household size, current health coverage information, and more.

From the information you provide in this section, the marketplace website will calculate if you are eligible for certain discounts on your health insurance premium, such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or the new premium tax subsidies and cost-sharing subsidies.

Tip: If  you are not working with a health insurance agent, from this step forward you will need one to help you navigate the application and plan choices.

Step 4: Choosing Your New Health Insurance Plan: Comparing Plan Rates and Options

SelectOnce you have completed your online eligibility application, your marketplace website will provide you and your agent with all plans you are eligible for in a side-by-side comparison. At this point in the process you will be able to see available health plans and compare:

Tip: The monthly premium that will be shown on the webpage will have the discount factored in if you qualify for premium tax subsidies. The amount displayed reflects the actual amount you’ll pay every month.

Step 5: Enroll in Your New Plan

ChooseOnce you select a plan, you will be able to enroll online. Once you’ve enrolled you will provide payment information either immediately or when the carrier receives the information from your Marketplace — You will pay your monthly premiums to the insurance company not the government.

If you or a family member qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, a representative may contact you to enroll, but most likely you will have to submit the application for that separately

Tip: Open Enrollment for 2015 will be from Nov 15th, 2014 – February 15th, 2015 

A Handy List of What You’ll Need When You Apply

The basic information you’ll need when filling out the application for marketplace exchange health insurance is listed below. Be prepared and make sure you have the following information:

  • Date of birth
  • Social security number & citizenship status
  • Tax filing status, and number of dependents*
  • Current job and income information including current employer, wages, hours worked (ie a current paystub)*
  • Other income information such as pensions, rental income, alimony received, unemployment income, etc.*
  • Current insurance information such as how you are insured (employer, Medicaid, individual health insurance, etc.)*
  • Payment information, such as a credit card or bank draft (ACH) information

These questions will only be asked if you are applying for federal assistance (premium tax subsidies, cost-sharing, Medicaid, CHIP, etc.).

Run a Regular Non-Subsidized Quote and Apply Online Using our Quote and Application Engine.

Additional Resources

Will I qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums?

Find out if your are eligible using a Paper Application

Tell us what you think in the comments below