PLEASE NOTE: You can still apply for individual and Medicare coverage online with IBA after the Marketplace/Exchanges begin.
Health Insurance Exchanges are online marketplaces established in each state by the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to promote more uniform, competitive, and accessible individual health insurance. Additionally, the Exchanges allow eligible individuals to access federal subsidies to help pay individual health insurance premiums. Starting Oct. 1, 2013, individuals in every state, including North Carolina, were able to shop for health insurance and compare plans on the Exchange. For coverage beginning in 2015, the Open Enrollment Period is November 15, 2014–February 15, 2015.
Healthcare for Individuals
Individuals looking for healthcare through the Affordable Care Act have the option to work with Exchanges or Health Insurance Marketplaces, an online marketplace where you can shop for coverage. Although Exchanges will be in all 50 states, North Carolina operates under a Federally Facilitated Exchange (FFE). Individuals who meet eligibility requirements to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan for the year 2015 may do so here during the Open Enrollment Period (November 15, 2014-February 15, 2015).
Healthcare for Seniors
Perhaps the most important thing for seniors to understand about the new ACA is that Medicare benefits will stay the same. Additionally, more than $350 million will be invested to help fight Medicare fraud which has become a very serious problem in recent years.
Healthcare for Small Businesses
Small businesses will be offered temporary tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. These benefits will depend on a number of contributing factors, including the amount of employees and average salary. Any business healthcare plans established before March, 23 2010 are exempt from new ACA regulations as they will be considered a “grandfathered plan.”
The insurance policies available on the Insurance Exchange are guaranteed issue, meaning that coverage cannot be denied or premiums increased on the basis of health status and pre-existing conditions. Guaranteed issue protects individuals with pre-existing conditions by ensuring their access to quality and affordable health insurance.
Still unsure about health insurance exchanges and what this means for you and your health insurance coverage? Contact us today!