What is the Marketplace?
The health insurance Marketplace or Exchange is an online shopping center. Both federal Marketplace and state-based Marketplaces exist.
Marketplace health plans are all required to offer the same essential health benefits, including doctor visits, preventive care, hospitalization, prescriptions, pregnancy and mental health, to name a few.
In the Marketplace, you can:
Find out if you qualify for a subsidy, tax credits or special programs.
Compare plans based on cost, benefits, deductibles, etc.
Apply for and enroll in a health plan.
Resources like HealthCare.com can help you shop for Marketplace plans with ease and support, providing you with quotes and recommendations.
Which Plan is Right For Me?
There are four categories of plans through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace. These categories will help you choose a plan that’s right for you. The categories are based on the costs that the plan covers and the costs for which you will be responsible. In other words, the category you choose affects how much your premium costs each month and what portion of the bill you will pay for things like hospital visits or prescription medications. The plans in each category all offer the same set of essential health benefits. The categories do not reflect the quality or amount of care the plans provide. The four categories are:
BALANCING MONTHLY PAYMENTS WITH OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS
As with all health plans, you will have a monthly payment (or premium). However, it is also important to understand how much of the out-of-pocket costs you will be responsible for when you receive care.
A Bronze plan will likely have a lower premium, but you will pay a higher share of out-of-pocket costs when you receive care.
Premiums are usually higher for plans that pay more of your out-of-pocket medical costs. For example, if you have a Gold plan, you will likely pay a higher premium, but may have lower costs when you go to the doctor or use other medical services.
Platinum plans will likely have the highest monthly premiums and lowest out-of-pocket costs. The plan will pay more of the costs if you require frequent medical care.
In general, when choosing your health plan, keep this in mind: the lower the premium, the higher the out-of-pocket costs when you need care; the higher the premium, the lower the out-of-pocket costs when you need care.
THINK ABOUT THE HEALTH CARE NEEDS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN CONSIDERING WHICH HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN TO PURCHASE.
Do you expect a lot of doctor visits or fill prescriptions on a regular basis?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may want to choose a Gold or Platinum plan.
If not, you may prefer a Bronze or Silver plan. But keep in mind that if you have a health emergency, Bronze and Silver plans will require you to pay more of the costs.
The Marketplace also offers “catastrophic” plans to people under 30 years old and to some people with very low incomes.
How To Enroll
Four Ways To Get Marketplace Coverage
OVER THE PHONE
Call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-844-248-7698. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. A customer service representative can help you apply and enroll over the phone.
Visit the HealthCare.gov site here to apply and enroll on the web.
If you don’t have a computer or time to apply and enroll over the phone, you can fill out a paper application. Call the Marketplace Call Center to get an application or download a copy here.
Contact Enroll Alabama to set-up and appointment with a certified healthcare Navigator who will help you apply and enroll in the Marketplace. If you live outside of Alabama, you can find local help here.
Schedule your appointment with an Enroll Alabama Navigator online