Now that the Affordable Care Act is in effect and the Health Insurance Marketplace is up and running, there is a new way for Americans to get health insurance coverage. We wanted to provide you with a brief overview of the facts you should be aware of. For a more comprehensive look at the Affordable Care Act, and to apply for health insurance using the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can visit www.healthcare.gov.
Q: What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
A: The Health Insurance Marketplace allows you to compare different insurance plans by filling out one application. You can find out about your cost saving opportunities at the Marketplace, as well. The Marketplace is accessible online or by phone (1-800-318-2596), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Q: When is the enrollment period?
A: For 2014, the six-month enrollment period began on October 1st and continues until March 2014.
Q: What coverage does a health insurance plan in the Marketplace have to provide?
A: All private health insurance plans in the Marketplace must offer minimum essential health benefits, which include coverage for the following:
Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to the hospital)
Maternity and newborn care
Mental health and substance us disorder services, including counseling and psychotherapy
Rehabilitative services and devices
Preventive and wellness services and chronic-disease management
To read the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website, www.hhs.gov.