5 Answers to FAQ on Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment

Rural health ( MGN Online )

Health insurance open enrollment started earlier this week—do you know what to look for when it comes to coverage? Proper insurance is top-of-mind for many of farmers who don’t have employer-based coverage and it can get confusing.

Open enrollment for health insurance ends Dec. 15, 2019, so you’ll need to make a health insurance decision soon.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) helps people shopping the health insurance marketplace, also known as exchanges, wade through the confusion. Here you can find a list of 300+ most commonly asked questions, but here are a few common conundrums to get you started.

  1. What is the health insurance marketplace?
    1. Also known as Exchanges, the Health Insurance Marketplace creates an organized location for users to shop for health insurance. It showcases different health plans, certifies participants and provides additional information or in-person assistance to understand health options. There is a marketplace in every state for individuals, families and small business. Find your state’s page here.
  2. How long after enrollment does plan coverage take effect?
    1. After open enrollment ends, you’ll make your first premium payment as specified by your plan and new health coverage starts Jan. 1.
  3. The tax penalty for not having insurance is removed, should I still sign up?
    1. Starting Jan 1, 2019 there are no more tax penalties for not having health insurance. However, in the case of illness or injury, health insurance can be critical. There are subsidies in every state that can help offset costs associated with health insurance premiums.
  4. What do the “Bronze,” “Silver,” “Gold” and “Platinum” labels indicate?
    1. The marketplace categorizes plans based on the amount of cost sharing they require. Cost sharing includes deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance. Bronze has the highest costs sharing and Platinum has the lowest. Generally speaking, plans with lower cost sharing have higher premiums and vice versa.
  5. What’s a Catastrophic Plan and will it be enough?
    1. These are the highest cost sharing plans. In 2020, Catastrophic plans will have an annual deductible of $8,150 for individuals and $16,300 for families. You will pay the entire cost of covered services up to the deductible. Preventative care is not included in this plan. Adults up to 30 are eligible for this plan and any older adult who can’t find any other marketplace policy that costs less than 8.24% of their income can use this plan.

If you have more questions check out the website or speak one-on-one with a representative. Health insurance affects everyone—make sure you’re covered.

Read more about health insurance options here:

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