Affordable Care Act Information Website Now Open

June 9, 2013 in Top News, U.S. News

HHS Secretary Sebelius

HHS Secretary Sebelius gathers with women to hear their stories as the economic decision-makers of their families and discuss changes in healthcare made available by the Affordable Care Act. Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Americans can now get information on health insurance coverage available through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, due to start up in October. They can also register for updates regarding the Affordable Care Act via email and mobile phone. Registration and healthcare information is located for people from all states at healthcare.gov — coveredca.com for California residents.

As key parts of the health care law will take effect in 2014, beginning October this year individuals will be able to use the federal website’s marketplace to find affordable health insurance coverage more quickly and efficiently than in the past. As individual states develop marketplaces themselves, that information will also be available on the Federal website.

All health insurance plans in the new marketplace will offer comprehensive coverage, including doctors’ fees, medications and hospital visits. Shoppers can compare all of the marketplace insurance options available to them based on price, benefits, quality, and features that may be important to their own special situations . The website presents the information  “in plain language that makes sense.” Information on eligibility and on state marketplace access also will be available.

Healthcare.gov has posted introductory information on the features and advantages of the marketplace, emphasizing that all costs are stated up front without fine print. This will make it possible for private health insurance buyers to know clearly what they’ll pay for different levels of coverage and what coverage will include before making a choice.

Under the new law, health insurance companies will not be permitted to refuse coverage or charge people more because of chronic or pre-existing conditions. It will be unlawful to charge more for women than for men. There will be new, expanded programs available for larger number of people to qualify for free or low-cost health insurance programs. Regardless of income level, a person can apply and see what programs are available to them.

Starting in October, healthcare.gov users will be able to get information on private plans available through the Marketplace that may not have been available prior to the new law’s implementation. Enrollment and communications will be available either through the website or a toll-free hotline.

Currently, a simple registration of email and phone information will get prospective health insurance buyers on the list to receive information updates and advance notice of how they can use the marketplace to their advantage. Coverage from the marketplace starts in January 2014, but use of the marketplace system begins in October to allow customers to begin identifying policies and choices that may be newly available to them.