Marketplace Health Insurance Plans
As of late, the Health Insurance Marketplace may still be your top choice to get adequate health insurance if you are not covered by an employer, a spouse’s or parent’s health insurance, or some other source.
And if you’re acquiring a low income, browsing the Marketplace for a plan is a must. You may be qualified for additional savings that lower the amount you pay for your monthly health insurance bill, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
The 2020 Marketplace Health Insurance Plans
If you do not have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source, you can purchase a plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
The Marketplace (or “Exchange”) was established as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010—also referred to as Obamacare. Most individuals can use healthcare.gov to apply for and enroll in health insurance. Nevertheless, you’ll use your state’s website to register if you live in one of the following states (current as of 2019):
- Rhode Island
- New York
- District of Columbia
Comparing Marketplace Health Insurance Plans 2020
When you explore the Marketplace, you will find that your choices come from private health insurance companies, as well as big names such as Blue Cross, Cigna, and Kaiser. The mix you get is based on where you live.
Every company provides a range of healthcare plans within the four metallic levels. The levels indicate the rough percentage of costs that the health insurance will pay towards your healthcare services:
Bronze plans, for instance, offer the lowest level of coverage (60%) but have the lowest monthly premiums. As the plan level increases, so does the coverage and your monthly premium.
Even within the same metallic level, you will still be able to select from several coverage options. These choices impact both your premiums and out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
Selecting Catastrophic Coverage
When you fill out an application online, you’ll see catastrophic insurance plans listed among your plan choices only if you qualify for them. If you do qualify for and select a catastrophic plan, you won’t be qualified for either Cost-Sharing Reductions or premium tax credits.
A catastrophic health plan covers three main care visits per year before the deductible is met. It also covers preventive services at no expense to you.
The premium you pay every month should be considerably lower than for other plans, but the out-of-pocket costs (deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) are usually much higher.
You may be qualified for a catastrophic plan if you’re under 30 years old or if you are eligible for a “hardship exemption,” since you can’t afford health coverage. This is determined during the application process and is depends on your family size and income.
Qualifying for Medicaid
Depending on your income and family size, you may qualify for Medicaid, a program that offer health coverage for eligible:
- Low-income individuals, households, and children
- Expectant women
- Persons with disabilities
Every state has its own rules about who qualifies for Medicaid. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility expanded in most states, and an increased number of individuals qualified for benefits. If you are eligible, you can get free or low-cost coverage and you won’t require to purchase a Marketplace plan.
Many states also have a separate program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), that offer health insurance for uninsured children in low-income families who do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private coverage.
You can fill out an application on the Health Insurance Marketplace to find out if you are qualified for Medicaid or CHIP benefits. Moreover, you can visit your state’s Medicaid website to apply and find out if you qualify.
Most people and families will be able to compare and purchase their 2020 health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. After you fill out an application online, you can see if you are eligible for Medicaid, CHIP, Cost-Sharing Reductions, and/or premium tax credits. You will also find out if you are qualified for a catastrophic plan that charges lower premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs.
In addition to Essential Health Benefits, all Marketplace and many other health plans must cover a set of preventive services like shots and screening tests at no cost to you—meaning you won’t have to pay a copayment or coinsurance. This is true even if you haven’t attained your annual deductible.
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