Health Insurance Marketplace
Health Insurance Marketplace
Established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Health Insurance Marketplace is designed to provide health coverage to many Americans who are currently uninsured. According to Healthcare.gov, the Health Insurance Marketplace, often referred to as Health Exchanges, is designed to provide the opportunity for people in the market for health insurance to compare rates and coverage until finding “health insurance that fits your budget, with less hassle.”
Among provisions of the ACA is the requirement for most Americans to have health insurance by 2014. Supporters say the Health Insurance Marketplace will allow many people who are currently uninsured to have health coverage by the start of 2014.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia were given three options for introducing Health Exchanges. These options were to:
- establish state-run exchanges
- partner with other states to run exchanges
- partner with the federal government to run exchanges
Deadlines for states to announce plans to exercise any of these options have already passed. A selection of states declared their intentions and submitted plans to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), which ruled on each plan. Currently, several states have received conditional HHS approval of plans and appear on track to implementing state-federal partnership exchanges. Some other states declared their intent to establish state-run exchanges, with all of these states except Mississippi receiving conditional HHS approval to proceed with their plans. While Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Utah have experienced delays and may or may not establish state-run exchanges in time to meet deadlines, the following states—along with the District of Columbia—have received HHS approval and appear well on the way to having active state-run exchanges in place on Jan. 1, 2014:
- Rhode Island
States that did not declare their intent to establish state-run exchanges, regional exchanges, or state-federal partnerships will default to the federally facilitated exchange. About half of all states will fall into this category, although they will have the option of pursuing other types of exchanges in following years.
Regardless of the nature of the exchange to be implemented in your state, all exchanges must be active by January of 2014. Enrollment, meanwhile, will begin on Oct. 1 of this year.
Who can purchase insurance in the exchanges?
Initially, individuals buying their own coverage will be eligible to shop in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Employees of companies with 100 or fewer workers will also be able to participate in exchanges. Many uninsured people seeking coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace will be eligible for subsidies to help minimize their costs.
How does this concern people with Medicare?
Fortunately, Medicare recipients do not need to be too concerned about the nationwide transition to Health Exchanges. For the foreseeable future, Medicare benefits seem secure, and few Medicare beneficiaries appear in any danger of losing Medicare coverage and joining the ranks of the uninsured. Contact MedicareMall to learn about Medicare supplement plans, Medicare Advantage, and all your best healthcare options.
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