​​How The Health Insurance Marketplace Works.
By: Patrick Mansfield | U.S. Health Alerts

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
The Health Insurance Marketplace gives people in the United States a new and different way to seek adequate health insurance coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, insured and uninsured people can use the Marketplace to find private healthcare coverage. 

A single application via the Marketplace tells people if they qualify for income-based insurance at a lower price. Options are displayed side-by-side for easier comparison, and applicants may also enroll through the Marketplace. 

How Does The Health Insurance Marketplace Application Process Work?

After filling out the Marketplace's application, users can view all available health insurance plans in their area. Applicants must give information about their income and household size to find out if the premiums can be provided at a lower price. This information also helps qualified users get reduced rates for out-of-pocket expenses. 

What Type Of Plans Are Available On The Health Insurance Marketplace? 

The Health Insurance Marketplace only offers private insurance plans. These plans cover essential health benefits. Applicants cannot be denied coverage or charged higher rates due to a pre-existing medical condition or illness; these plans must cover pre-existing conditions. The same plan must be offered at the same price for male and female applicants. And numerous preventative healthcare services are provided at no cost. 

What If I Have Employer-Provided Insurance?

Those who have employer-provided insurance are considered to be covered, and they may keep said insurance. Health Insurance Marketplace coverage may be an option for covered individuals who want to switch to it. 

All employer-provided insurance plans are classified as minimum essential insurance plans. Therefore, those who have insurance from their job do not need to enroll in Marketplace insurance to avoid the 2014 uninsured fee. While people under employer-provided insurance can review any Marketplace plans available to them, there are a few factors to keep in mind when comparing the two.

Marketplace and Employer-Provided Comparisons

The majority of job-provided plan premiums are partially paid the employer. Those who switch to Marketplace plans must pay their premiums without their employer's contribution. This contribution change should be considered before looking at Marketplace coverage. 

How to Qualify for Marketplace Cost Savings?

Regardless of income, not everyone who applies for Healthy Insurance Marketplace plans qualifies for lower out-of-pocket expenses and reduced monthly premiums.

Employer-offered coverage plays a role in qualifying for cost savings. Those who have affordable employer-offered coverage provided to them at a minimum value are not eligible for the Marketplace's reduced premiums or lowered out-of-pocket expenses despite their family size and income level. 

The employer can help determine if their insurance plan is affordable and considered minimum essential insurance. If this is the case, the employer can provide information about the insurance plan they offer. 

Those who are not eligible for Marketplace cost savings, and will not receive employer contributions to their Marketplace premiums, should consider all costs before enrolling in insurance that is not workplace based. 

How I Can Save Money On The Health Insurance Marketplace Plans?

Health Insurance Marketplace applicants have three ways they can save money on healthcare coverage. Each way depends on the applicant's family size and income level. They can reduce their healthcare expenses by:

Enrolling in private insurance on the Marketplace, which covers pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits. 

Getting low-cost or no-cost insurance for their child or themselves through Children's Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, or Medicaid. Starting in 2014, some states are expanding their Medicaid eligibility requirements, allowing more people to qualify.

Qualifying for lower coinsurance, co-payments, and deductibles. Understand the Health Insurance Subsidies.

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