The Health Insurance Marketplace is an online portal available for each state that includes hundreds of health insurance plans at low rates and varying levels of coverage. The marketplace was created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in an effort to make it easier for Americans to find affordable health plans and enroll as easily as possible.
This means that insurance plans available on your state’s marketplace site must adhere to the ACA’s conditions of essential health benefits. You can trust that the health insurance plans featured on these sites will include comprehensive medical care.
You should research your state’s marketplace in order to find the cheapest and most effective health insurance plan for your needs. Once you are viewing your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace, you can compare up to three plans side by side or you can use search filters to narrow down your selection.
When you are viewing plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace you will notice the plans are called: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each plan has different costs and offers different coverage packages.
- Bronze and Silver plans generally have cheaper premiums and higher deductibles.
- Gold and Platinum plans tend to have higher premiums and lower deductibles.
If you purchase a health insurance plan through your state’s marketplace you may also be entitled to tax breaks. This means you could save even more money on your monthly premium, deductibles, and copayments.
Whether you qualify for these types of savings, called premium tax credits, depends on a combination of factors, including your household size and income level.
To purchase a health insurance plan through your state’s marketplace, you must apply for a plan during the annual open enrollment period. This window of time usually occurs in November and December of the year preceding the desired coverage year.
If you are above age 65 you may not have to worry about researching your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace as you may already qualify for Medicare. Similarly to Medicaid, Medicare is a type of government health insurance that is very inexpensive and can even be free of cost. Read onward to find out if you qualify for Medicare.