Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1, 2013, and continues through March 31, 2014.
The Marketplace -- also known as the health insurance exchange -- is a new way to find health coverage if you don’t have coverage now or if you have coverage but want to look at other options.
Virginia lawmakers voted to opt out of a state run marketplace, so residents of the Commonwealth will use the federally run program at HealthCare.gov to apply, compare options and enroll in coverage.Navigators will serve as in-person resources for those seeking additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in health insurance plans in the Marketplace.
Bill Botts is the lead navigator
for the Fredericksburg region. Residents may contact him for an appointment at
540-374-5023, by e-mail at email@example.com or by visiting Legal Services of Northern Virginia at 500 Lafayette Blvd., Suite 140, Fredericksburg beginning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
1 - Gather basic information about your household income to see if you qualify for lower costs on Marketplace coverage. Use this checklist to get started.
2 - Set your budget and estimate your costs and savings in the Marketplace.
3 - Make sure you understand how coverage works, including things like premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, copayments, and coinsurance.
4 - Learn about the different types of health coverage.
5 - Explore your current options. You may be able to get coverage that starts before January 1, 2014 through existing programs.
6 - Ask your employer if it plans to offer health insurance in 2014. If you don’t have coverage, you may have to pay a fee.
The Marketplace will also tell you if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage available through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Those who have Medicare are already covered and do not need to make any changes, according to HealthCare.gov.
Those who run a small business may go to Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace for information about providing coverage for employees.
HealthCare.gov provides a series of YouTube videos to help provide information and answer questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace.
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