Obamacare Plans
Plans Last Updated: November 13th, 2019

Consumer Resource Guide to Understanding the Health Insurance Marketplace

There is an overwhelming amount of information in regards to your health insurance options, as well as new legislature, laws, and even penalties that not everyone may be aware of. The resources and articles provided here will enable consumers to gain the understanding they need of crucial elements affecting their personal health insurance needs.

You can begin your research now by clicking relevant links and articles below that pertain to questions you may have regarding your health insurance options.

Healthcare Marketplace

Health insurance marketplaces, often referred to as healthcare exchanges, have been instituted by states across America as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act. The purpose of the exchanges is to provide state residents with a quick and intuitive way of purchasing an insurance package. Though the exchanges operate independently of the insurance companies, they do provide a comprehensive look at each provider’s insurance packages and plan options.

Generally, marketplaces are used by individuals who do not receive medical coverage through an existing private plan, or through an employer-sponsored insurance program. The marketplace provides users with the information necessary to make sure that their coverage package helps them meet the minimum coverage regulations outlined in the Affordable Care Act.

In addition to helping users determine compliance, it allows users to determine if they are eligible for a partial or full subsidy from the federal government. In this instance, the subsidy comes in the form of a “tax credit” from the federal government. Subsidies are based largely upon yearly income levels and may not be available to all applicants.

In the event that a user falls below a certain income threshold, the marketplace will also notify them that they are eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program or Medicaid. These are both government funded health insurance programs designed to provide coverage for children or users suffering from a temporary or long-term disability.

Additionally, it allows small business owners who are struggling to provide employee healthcare through traditional means to access the Small Business Health Options Program. This is a program designed specifically for business owners who currently employ between 1-50 full-time-equivalent employees.

The marketplaces are full of useful information and analytic tools designed to offer assistance to users as clearly and simply as possible. However, there are eligibility requirements when it comes to who can obtain insurance through an exchange. Only American citizens or individuals who are lawfully present in the United States may utilize an exchange. Also, individuals currently incarcerated in federal or state correctional facility are prohibited from using a healthcare marketplace. Finally, individuals utilizing the marketplace are required to use the exchange that corresponds with their state of permanent residence.

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