Shopping For Coverage

Insuring Your Health columnist Michelle Andrews helps you navigate the new insurance marketplaces that are scheduled to launch on Oct. 1.

In Most States, Policies Will be Sold Outside The Health Law Marketplace
Those plans must also provide the same "essential benefits" as the plans set up for the exchanges and have similar out-of-pocket standards.

Different Types Of Marketplace Plans Expected To Be Available
Number of policies offered will vary depending on the state.

Health Plans Won’t be Able To Drop Individuals From Coverage
Open enrollments will be held annually for beneficiaries.

Marketplace Premiums Likely To Mirror Plans Sold Privately
Individuals purchasing a policy outside the exchange won’t qualify for subsidies, however.

Individuals With Medical Conditions Will Not Pay A Penalty On Premiums
Older people will pay more than the young, and smokers could face a surcharge.

Each Marketplace Plan Must Offer 10 ‘Essential Benefits’
These include prescription drugs, emergency and hospital care and mental health services, among others.

Two Types of Subsidies To Help Cover Costs Will Be Available
Lower-income buyers may get help paying the premium and help on covering expenses such as deductibles and co-payments.

Applying For Marketplace Coverage Will Also Determine Eligibility For Subsidies
Tax credits to help pay for premiums will be available to people earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $46,000 for an individual.

Health Marketplaces Open For Shopping Oct. 1
Coverage will begin Jan. 1.

Health Marketplaces Are Open To Nearly Everyone
But individuals who already have insurance through work, Medicare or Medicaid don’t need to shop there.

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