Beginning October 1, 2013, state and federally-sponsored
insurance marketplaces, commonly referred to as “exchanges,” will open.
These exchanges will help you explore plan options and make decisions
about your health insurance purchase. As the opening day for the
exchanges gets closer, it becomes increasingly more important to know
what information you need to have on hand before diving into the
exchanges. Have personal information ready – You will need identifying
information and social security numbers for each family member that
needs health insurance.
Gather W-2s, tax returns, current
pay stubs, and any other statements
that have information about income for yourself and each member of your
family that needs health insurance – With a clear idea of
income, you will be able to better assess your eligibility for health
insurance options and/or available government assistance .
Determine Your Eligibility
– Depending on your household income, you
may be eligible for a subsidy to help you pay for out-of-pocket
expenses or a tax credit to help you pay for your health insurance
Ask your employer what plans will
be offered – Beginning on October 1,
all employers are required to disclose if they are offering health
insurance and if the plans they are offering will meet the requirements
of the Affordable Care Act. Understanding what your employer will
provide can help you decide whether you want to enroll in your
employer-provided plan or purchase a plan through the exchanges. If
your employer is not offering health insurance options, you may be
required to get health insurance by January 1, 2014 or face a
Understand the types of coverage
– Many different plan options will be
offered through the Health Insurance Marketplaces. Knowing how coverage
works will help you choose a health plan that’s right for you.
Know you’re looking for in
a plan – Understanding what health insurance options are
costs, and whether or not you will receive a subsidy will help you
decide which plan fits your budget and how much you need to set aside
each month to purchase insurance.