The Affordable Care Act began enrollment on October 1, 2013. It will greatly expand the health care benefits for those with no health coverage, as well as for those who are underinsured or have inadequate coverage. The law requires that all health plans include a set of essential health benefits.
It is estimated that more than 200,000 residents of Travis County will be eligible for health care benefits through the Marketplace, and an estimated 140,000 are eligible for subsidized coverage. But many are unaware of the opportunities available to them.
Local Austin Resources
Get help in person at these Travis County Insurance Marketplace Resources
Starting October 1, 2013, you can apply for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov. Health coverage starts as early as January 1, 2014 (if you enroll by mid December), and open enrollment ends on March 31, 2014.
The marketplace offers a side-by-side comparison of private insurance options for individuals, families, and small businesses. Through the Marketplace, you can apply and compare all your options. You can also find out if you can get lower costs on monthly premiums or get free or low-cost coverage. When you’re ready to enroll, you’ll decide how you pay your premiums or get help signing up for Medicaid or CHIP if you’re eligible.
Before open enrollment begins, you can explore your options, prepare to apply, and sign up for Marketplace updates.
Explore Your Options
If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it. You may be able to change to Marketplace coverage if you want to. You can ask your employer if it plans to offer health insurance. If not, you may need to get insurance through the Marketplace or from other sources in 2014. If you don’t have coverage, you may have to pay a fee.
If you run a small business, you can go to the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace to find out about providing coverage for your employees. You will use t his website to apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll. Specific information will be available on October 1, 2013.
If you have Medicare, you’re already covered and don’t need to make any changes.