By all indications, the Affordable Care Act and the new Health Insurance Marketplace coverage options are effective in making quality healthcare more accessible to a greater number of Americans. Reporting on recent government statistics, the Montgomery Advertiser said, “As of midnight Feb. 15, about 11.4 million Americans selected Marketplace plans or were automatically re-enrolled, including 8.6 million through the HealthCare.gov, platform, and…2.8 million through these state Marketplaces.” There was an increased demand for insurance, which was evident because there were more new consumers who signed up compared to any other period of enrollment.
The Affordable Care Act Marketplace has become an important part for millions of Americans. It has given them the opportunity for financial and health security, and there is no longer the hard choice between paying for their utility bills and attending to healthcare expenses. This is because the Health Insurance Marketplace was created to help people find individual health insurance that would meet their needs and budgets.
The Marketplace is helpful for those who do not have coverage through employer benefits or other sources. Applications can be done through phone, paper, or online. When it comes to eligibility, majority of people can make use of the Health Insurance Marketplace. The conditions are that they live in the United States, they must be a U.S. citizen or national, and they shouldn’t be incarcerated. People can qualify for either a health insurance plan with income-based savings or Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Note that those who already have Medicare coverage are not allowed to buy a health or dental plan from the Marketplace.
Enrolling in a Marketplace plan has a set deadline every year, and the next enrollment would start on November 1, 2015 and would end on January 31, 2016. Beyond the end date, enrollment is not allowed unless one qualifies for the Special Enrollment Period. Meanwhile, for Medicaid and CHIP, there is no limited period and enrollment can be done at any time.
Those who want to enroll in the Marketplace can get assistance from hospitals that work with specialist firms like DECO Recovery Management, as these facilities can tap the expertise that can serve as a guide through the entire process.
(Source: Marketplace plans providing wide health coverage, Montgomery Adviser, February 23, 2015)