Health Insurance Marketplaces
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), was signed into law on March 23, 2010 with the primary objective to expand health care coverage in the United States through an individual insurance mandate, the creation of Health Insurance Marketplaces (also called “exchanges”), and the expansion of Medicaid, our nation’s health care insurance program for the poor. Under the ACA, all Americans and legal residents are required to obtain health care coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014, or be subject to a tax penalty.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is designed to make it easier for consumers to purchase health insurance and was created as a one-stop shop where individuals and families can shop for and purchase affordable health care coverage. Open enrollment to obtain health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplaces begins on Oct. 1, 2013, and will run through March 31, 2014. Those who do not obtain coverage during this time will not be able to purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace until the next open enrollment period, unless there is a qualifying event (marriage, birth of a child, etc.).
Through the Marketplace, consumers can compare plans based on price, benefits, quality and other features before making a choice. Consumers who purchase coverage through the Marketplace may be eligible to receive federal subsidies to make insurance more affordable. Visit the HealthCare.gov website to find out if you qualify for a subsidy.
For more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace and how to obtain affordable health care insurance visit the HealthCare.gov website.