What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?

Health Insurance and the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act of 2010 created state-based health insurance marketplace (also called insurance exchange) through which individuals can purchase health insurance coverage.

Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace ends on March 31, 2014.  The next open enrollment period for 2015 coverage starts from November 15, 2014 and ends on February 15, 2015.  There are several ways to sign up for Marketplace plans, but applying online is the quickest method to  get coverage.  You can buy a marketplace plan directly from an insurance company, with the help of a broker or an agent, or using an online service.  If you can’t afford a health plan or can’t wait until coverage begins, you can get low-cost care at a Community Health Center near you.

For additional information about the Health Insurance Marketplaces go to https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-health-insurance-marketplace.

Discussion Questions

  1. What are several methods of getting health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces?
  2. Can a Marketplace refuse the coverage or charge you more because you have an illness or a medical condition?
  3. How do you choose a health insurance plan that is  right for you?

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original source to discuss

  • The 5 categories of Marketplace plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Catastrophic.
  • How you may be able to get lower costs on deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance?
  • How to apply and enroll in health coverage in the Marketplace?

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