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How Can Health Insurance Exchanges Benefit You

May 2nd, 2013

Health Insurance ExchangesThe creation of Health Insurance Exchanges is a major part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of the Obama administration. It aims to provide affordable and comprehensive health coverage to the millions of uninsured Americans. These exchanges will serve as marketplaces where individuals and small businesses can compare and purchase coverage in one place. Enrollment starts Oct. 1, 2013 and coverage will roll out Jan. 1, 2014.

Here’s how the health insurance exchanges can benefit you:

You’re uninsured

Under the new healthcare law, you cannot be denied coverage just because you have a preexisting  condition. All plans available in the federal or state exchanges are “guaranteed issue” for U.S. citizens and legal residents. It is also illegal for health insurers to drop your coverage because of an illness or injury.

You’re currently paying a lot for your health care

The new marketplace will implement rules to keep premium prices in check. For example, the most expensive plan cannot be more than 4.5 times the cost of the least expensive plan. At most, premiums paid by older members can only be three times that of younger members. Plan prices will also vary according to where you live and your family size.

Depending on your income, you and your family can also qualify for a government subsidy.

You’re older but not old enough for Medicare

Older adults who haven’t quite reached 65 years may have a difficult time finding affordable coverage. The guaranteed issue and premium pricing rules under the new law aim to change all that. Regardless of your medical history, you can buy coverage and it can only be up to three times more expensive than what younger people pay.

You have really high medical costs

Annual and lifetime limits that put a cap on what insurers pay for your benefits will no longer be allowed starting 2014. Right now, these limits can be easily reached if you have a health problem.

You get confused comparing health plans

All plans sold through the exchanges are standardized and must meet the essential health benefits criteria. Choosing the appropriate plan will be easier. Four tiers of plans will be available: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and platinum.

For more information, visit the Health Insurance Exchange guide.


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