Lauren Becherer | HealthGreatness
Just like browsing the internet for shoes or comparing the price of flights, you can shop for health care plans online. The Healthcare Exchange, also known as the Health Insurance or Obamacare Marketplace, is a hub of information that allows you to compare prices, levels of coverage, and details of different health plan options that pertain to the state you live in. This resource presents information in a standardized format to make it easily accessible to consumers. An estimated 29 million Americans will have affordable health insurance by 2019.
All private plans included in the Healthcare Exchange provide the same essential benefits such as emergency services, prescriptions, pediatric services, hospitalization, and maternity care. Some plans offer additional benefits such as chiropractic services or physical therapy, which is why comparing plans will help you decide which route best suits your health care needs.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is a great way for uninsured Americans to get individual or family insurance. If you are already covered by a current plan, the Healthcare Exchange allows you to compare it to other options to see if there’s a better deal out there. Low-income Americans can use the Health Exchange to find a cheaper insurance plan or see if they qualify for free or low-cost options, tax credit, or financial aid programs such as Medicaid or Child Health Insurance Plan. Consumers can use a subsidy calculator or fill out an application for your state’s marketplace to see if they qualify for cost assistance.
To begin, visit healthcare.gov and select your state to find the plans offered there. Keep in mind that open enrollment for health care plans under ObamaCare ended on March 31st and the next open enrollment begins November 15th. Special enrollment may still be possible for qualifying life cases such as marriage, divorce, a birth, or lost job.