Health Insurance Blog - Healthcare.gov
|Choosing a Marketplace plan that meets your household's needs
Open Enrollment for 2021 coverage starts November 1. Plans have different premiums and out-of-pocket costs and may differ in the quality of service and benefits they provide. Knowing a few things before you apply can make the process for choosing a plan simpler.
Things to think about when comparing Marketplace plans
- There are 4 categories of health insurance plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. These categories show how you and your plan share costs. Plan categories have nothing to do with quality of care.
- HealthCare.gov offers health insurance plan quality ratings (or "star ratings"), that reflect member experience, medical care, and health plan administration. The ratings let you quickly compare plans based on quality.
- When choosing a plan, it’s a good idea to think about your total health care costs. You pay a monthly bill to your insurance company (a "premium"), even if you don’t use medical services that month. You pay out-of-pocket costs, including a deductible, when you get care.
- Some plan types allow you to use almost any doctor or health care facility. Other plans limit your choices or charge you more if you use providers outside their network.
Learn more about choosing the health plan that right’s for your family.
POSTED OCTOBER 15, 2020
|3 ways to get ready to apply for 2021 coverage
With Open Enrollment for 2021 less than a month away, make sure you’re prepared. Whether you’re enrolling for the first or fifth time or planning to renew your current plan, taking small steps to get ready now can help the application process run smoothly when you apply for coverage starting November 1.
3 quick & easy ways to get ready for Open Enrollment
- Learn how the Marketplace works by reading these quick tips. If you come across an unfamiliar term, visit our glossary.
- See if your income is in the range to get help with costs. Enter your household and expected income information, and we'll show you how much you may save. You'll know the exact amount you'll pay after you submit an application.
- When you fill out your application, you'll be asked to predict your income. Marketplace savings are based on your expected household income for 2021, not 2020. See what counts as income so you’ll make an accurate estimate.
POSTED OCTOBER 08, 2020
|Open Enrollment is one month away!
Mark your calendar: Open Enrollment for a 2021 Marketplace plan starts November 1, exactly one month from today.
Other important Open Enrollment deadlines:
- Open Enrollment runs from November 1 through December 15, 2020. Coverage starts January 1, 2021.
- If you don’t enroll in a plan by December 15, you can only get 2021 Marketplace coverage if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Here’s how you can get ready today to apply for 2021 coverage.
POSTED OCTOBER 01, 2020
|Sign up for Marketplace reminders & important info
With Open Enrollment for 2021 coverage just over a month away, sign up today for deadline reminders and useful tips so you don’t miss out on late-breaking information.
How to connect with the Marketplace
- Get updates via email or text. Visit HealthCare.gov and enter your email address under "Get Important News & Updates." Click "Sign Up."
- Connect with us on social media. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for news, interactive content, and important updates.
- Find someone to help answer your enrollment questions. Enter your ZIP code for a list of groups and people in your area. Some offer help in languages other than English and other specialized services.
POSTED SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
|Get the flu shot this fall
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older get a yearly flu shot by the end of October. By getting the shot, you’re helping to lower the spread of flu-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and even death.
3 more reasons it’s important to get your flu shot:
- With Marketplace health insurance, your flu shot is free from a provider in your plan's network. Immunization vaccines are a covered preventive care benefit.
- While babies, children, and older people are most vulnerable, no one is immune from the flu.
- Getting vaccinated is more important than ever. Getting the shot helps reduce illness and preserve health care resources as the country battles the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency.
According to the CDC, the flu vaccine doesn’t increase the risk of getting COVID-19. When you get your shot, try your best to maintain social distancing, avoid waiting areas, and always wear a mask.
POSTED SEPTEMBER 17, 2020
|Marketplace health benefits & coverage: What to know
All plans offered in the Marketplace, cover a set of 10 essential health benefits, including ambulatory patient services, emergency care, and pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.
See the full list of covered essential health benefits. Specific services covered can vary based on your state’s requirements. Some plans may offer vision, dental, and medical management programs. When comparing plans, you’ll see exactly what each plan offers.
Also covered: Preventive care & coverage for pre-existing conditions
Marketplace plans cover a set of preventive services, like shots and screening tests, at no cost to you when delivered by a provider in your plan’s network.
No insurance plan can reject you, charge you more, or refuse to pay for essential health benefits for any condition you had before your coverage started, including pregnancy.
Learn more about what Marketplace health insurance plans cover.
POSTED SEPTEMBER 10, 2020
|Life change? You may be eligible for health coverage for the rest of 2020
If you recently lost health coverage, got married, had a baby, or experienced another life event, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in or change Marketplace coverage for the rest of 2020.
What counts as a life event?
There are 4 basic types of qualifying life events:
- Loss of health coverage, like losing your job-based or student health plan
- Changes in household, like getting married or divorced, having a baby, or adopting a child
- Changes in residence, like moving to a different ZIP code or state
- Other changes that impact your income or status, like gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe
How to apply with a Special Enrollment Period
Learn more about applying for Marketplace coverage through a Special Enrollment Period.
POSTED SEPTEMBER 03, 2020
|When can I enroll in a 2021 Marketplace plan?
Here are some important Open Enrollment dates for 2021 coverage to mark on your calendar:
Key Open Enrollment dates
- Open Enrollment runs from Sunday, November 1 through Tuesday, December 15, 2020. Coverage begins January 1, 2021.
- If you don’t enroll in a plan by December 15, you can’t get 2021 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Looking for coverage for the rest of 2020? Answer these questions to see if you can apply through a Special Enrollment Period. You can also enroll in Medicaid or CHIP any time, if you’re eligible. Coverage can begin immediately.
POSTED AUGUST 27, 2020
|Recently lose health coverage? You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period
You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in or change health plans if you or anyone in your household lost qualifying health coverage in the past 60 days or expects to lose it in the next 60 days.
Coverage losses that may qualify
- Losing job-based coverage, like through your employer or the employer of a family member.
- Losing individual health coverage for a plan or policy you bought yourself, like if your plan is discontinued or you lose eligibility for a student health plan.
- Losing Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, like if a change in household income makes you ineligible for Medicaid or your child ages off CHIP.
- Losing Medicare eligibility, like if you’re no longer eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A.
- Losing coverage through a family member, like if you turn 26 and can no longer be on a parent’s plan.
Not sure your coverage loss counts? Answer a few questions to see if you qualify.
Ready to apply through a Special Enrollment Period?
Note: If you're not eligible to apply with a Special Enrollment Period for the rest of 2020, you can apply for a 2021 health plan Sunday, November 1 through Tuesday, December 15, 2020.
POSTED AUGUST 13, 2020
|New baby means new health insurance options
Congratulations on your new addition! If you recently had a baby or adopted a child, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. This means you can enroll in or change your Marketplace plan even though it’s not Open Enrollment. Your new coverage can start the day of the birth or adoption, even if you enroll in the plan up to 60 days afterward.
How to apply with a Special Enrollment Period
Other life changes that may qualify
- Having a baby isn’t the only life event that makes you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Coverage and income changes also count.
- Answer a few questions about your life event to see if you may qualify.
- You can also check out the full list of life events.
POSTED JULY 29, 2020
News – Insurance Journal
|NTSB Faults Owners for Deadly California Dive Boat Fire, Calls for Major Safety Improvements to Small Passenger Vessels
The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday determined the probable cause of a 2019 California dive boat fire and sinking that killed 34 was the failure of the owner and operator of to provide effective oversight of its vessel and …
POSTED OCTOBER 20, 2020 10:35 PM
|Calhoun Joins LP Risk’s Brokerage Team in Houston as Sr. VP
LP Risk Inc., a part of national specialty insurance distribution company XPT Partners, has hired Alicia Calhoun as senior vice president. Based in Houston, Calhoun will focus on brokerage business with a specialty in energy and construction Calhoun’s experience over …
POSTED OCTOBER 20, 2020 4:29 PM
|Michigan Egg Producer Hit with Federal Sex Harassment, Retaliation Lawsuit
A Michigan-based egg producer is facing a federal lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and retaliation against a female employer. Konos Inc. was sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly subjecting a female employee to sexual harassment and retaliating …
POSTED OCTOBER 20, 2020 4:27 PM
|Ratings of Texas’ Hallmark Financial No Longer Under Review with Negative Implications
AM Best has removed from under review with negative implications and affirmed the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “bbb-” and the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) of Hallmark Financial Services Inc. (Hallmark Financial), headquartered in Dallas. Concurrently, …
POSTED OCTOBER 20, 2020 4:12 PM
|Disneyland Unions Tell California Governor Resort Can Be Reopened Safely Despite Virus
Unions representing over 10,000 Disney theme park workers have told California Gov. Gavin Newsom that the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., can safely reopen when its location moves into the state’s “orange tier” of COVID-19 test positivity and adjusted case …
POSTED OCTOBER 20, 2020 2:51 PM
|Survey Finds 78% of Risk Managers Now Buying Cyber Insurance
The tenth year of the Zurich North America and Advisen Cyber Survey reveals that 78% of risk managers now purchase some level of cyber insurance — compared to only 34% in 2011. Of this record of 78% with some cyber …
POSTED OCTOBER 20, 2020 2:24 PM
|Enstar Offers $34.50 per Share for Watford Holdings, Surpassing Arch Capital’s Bid
Watford Holdings Ltd.’s board of directors announced they are considering an acquisition offer of $34.50 per share from Enstar Group which could be a “superior proposal” to the recent offer from Arch Capital Ltd. for approximately $622 million, or $31.10 …
POSTED OCTOBER 20, 2020 2:09 PM
|Man Accused of Tampering with Pizza Dough Held Without Bail
A man accused of putting razor blades in pizza dough sold at a supermarket in Saco, Maine, has been ordered held without bail. Nicholas Mitchell, 38, made his first court appearance on Friday after his extradition from New Hampshire, where …
POSTED OCTOBER 20, 2020 1:54 PM
|Second Search of Virginia Blast Site Finds No More Victims
Fire officials have completed another search of the site of a weekend explosion and fire in Harrisonburg, Va., and determined there are no additional victims, the city announced Sunday night. An explosion rocked a strip mall Saturday morning, followed by …
POSTED OCTOBER 20, 2020 1:47 PM
|BenefitMall Adds Poli as Mid-Atlantic Market Director Based in Maryland
BenefitMall, a provider of next-generation broker services, has added Robert Poli as the new Mid-Atlantic market director. Bringing more than 30 years of experience in the health insurance industry, Poli will report to Barb Taylor, regional vice president of the …
POSTED OCTOBER 20, 2020 1:44 PM