ACA enrollment starts this week, and your marketplace plan could be cheaper
Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace begins this week.The marketplace is open from Nov. 1 through Jan. 15. Hoosiers should enroll before Dec. 15 to have coverage on Jan. 1.
Hoosiers have up to five insurers to choose from depending on where they live, said Mark Fairchild, director of policy and communication at Covering Kids and Families, a nonprofit that helps connect people with insurance.
Fairchild urges people to not rush the application and take time to look at all of their options.
“It's really important to look at not just, is this a really cheap plan as far as my monthly premium, but what are the out-of-pocket costs?” Fairchild said.
He said people should not pay too much attention to the sticker price of the different health insurance plans, as many people qualify for tax credits that lower their monthly premiums. And this year, the marketplace offers additional subsidies that include more affordable family plans, even if a person’s employer offers insurance.
Fairchild encourages people to find a certified insurance navigator through the Indiana Department of Insurance to help with the enrollment process.
“If there's a bunch of terms and jargon you don't understand and you're just spending all day banging your head against the wall, that's a great time to contact a certified navigator who can help you understand all those options,” Fairchild said. “If you have a really expensive family plan option through your employer, again, talk to a certified navigator and we might find a marketplace option for you that's a lot more affordable for your family.”
He said people need to make sure they are providing all of the information needed in order to get accurate costs.
“If you've been on the marketplace before, note that it's going to be less expensive now than it has been in a lot of years past and there'll be more options available to you,” Fairchild said. “So don't necessarily just lock in with what you've had before, look around a little bit and see if there's any new options available or a better fit for you.”
Fairchild also warns people to be wary of scams and fake websites.
“If you just Google for marketplace or health insurance, you're gonna get all kinds of different things – some legitimate insurers, some sites that are trying to get some referral links and all of that,” he said.
The marketplace can be found at HealthCare.gov.
Contact reporter Darian Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter:
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