Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), every state will be opening a state health insurance exchange or ”marketplace”, which will be available for online enrollment starting October 1, 2013. Some states will use the federal government website for their enrollments until they have their state specific site operational. That site is Healthcare.gov
All marketplaces will be a new 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 on or after October 1 to enroll in individual health insurance marketplaces, but we are a great resource for the SHOP marketplaces and continuing updates about the Patient Protection Act, also known as “Obamacare”. Be sure to add us on all of your social media websites 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.
Once you have identified your Marketplace you will need to set up an account on that website. 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 October 1, 2013.
Step 3: Are You Eligible? Fill Out Your Eligibility Application
Not 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
Once 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:
- The benefits offered through each plan
- The monthly cost for each plan, with any discounts applied
- Out-of-pocket costs
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
If you or a family member qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, a representative will contact you to enroll.
Tip: Even though open enrollment for the marketplaces starts October 1, 2013, the earliest date that coverage will start is January 1, 2014.
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 Non-Subsidized Quote and Apply Online Using our Application Engine
**Be Sure to Enter a 1/1/14 Effective Date for Obamacare Plans**