Tag Archives: public marketplace

Shopping in the Marketplaces

A Different Kind of Mall

Shopping season is here! And not just for the holidays. The Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is now in full swing for you to buy health insurance too. It’s time to start comparing plans, and you should start with the marketplaces.

State Public Marketplaces

The Affordable Care Act requires each state have a Public Exchange, or Marketplace. These are like an online mall where you can compare the price and benefits of each product, much like you would with a big purchase like a television, a phone or a mattress. Only, in the exchanges, you’re comparing individuals’ health insurance plans.

Individual plans are what you shop for if you don’t have insurance through your employer and you don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.

Our Private Marketplace

Health Alliance has its own Public Marketplace too. This shows you only our plans available in the Public Marketplace. You can find our plans in the state Public Marketplace too, but if you already know you would like the customer service and personal attention of Health Alliance, you can compare plans in our Public Marketplace with less clutter and confusion.

To put this in easier terms, if you know you want Levi jeans, finding what you want in a Levi jeans store will be easier than shopping in a department store. Shopping in Health Alliance’s private marketplace is no different.

Our Direct Marketplace

You can also shop for individual plans in our Direct Marketplace. It has all of our private plans, which offer more plan, doctor, and drug choices.

It is more like a specialty store that has many options, like going to Best Buy to shop for televisions. Here, you can pay more for premium features if want them, or you can find something that balances both price and benefits.

Learn more about the exchanges, or start shopping for plans at HealthAlliance.org or by calling us at 1-877-686-1168.

Affordable Care

Crunching Numbers for You

The Affordable Care Act is here to make health care affordable! Let’s run through some facts about the kinds of help you can get paying for your Health Alliance individual insurance plan, called premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies.

What’s a premium tax credit?

A premium is what you pay monthly to have insurance. A premium tax credit lowers your cost to make a plan affordable for you.

What is a cost-sharing subsidy?

A cost-sharing subsidy makes other health insurance costs affordable, like your deductible, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket max.

Who qualifies for help?

There’s a little math involved here. First, you need to know your individual or family income. If your income falls between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, you can get help from the government.

You can get government help if you’re…
An individual with a gross income* of $12,000-$46,000 a year
A family of four with a gross income of $24,000-$94,000 a year

*Gross income is everything you make in a year, before any taxes or deductions.

What’s the federal poverty level?

The federal poverty level depends on your family’s size. In 2013, it was $11,490 for a single adult and $23,550 for a family of four. You can make up to 4 times that amount and still get help!

How much help will I get?

Again, there’s a little math involved. A few tools online will do the math for you, or a Health Alliance rep can help find your subsidy amount. Call or stop by our Champaign location at 206 W. Anthony Drive, near Alexander’s Steakhouse—we’ll crunch the numbers for you.

How do I apply this help to my bill?

The only thing you have to do is pick a plan from the Public Marketplace. Any public plan will let you apply for government help. The government deals directly with us after you enroll to apply its help to your bill.

What can I do if I don’t qualify for help, but I still don’t have a lot of money? 

  1. Think about your individual risk. Your individual risk is the plan’s medical deductible added to the out-of-pocket max. This is the most you’ll have to pay (besides the monthly premium,) before a plan will cover 100% of your costs. What are you OK with paying if the worst were to happen?
  2. Pay attention to a plan’s deductible and out-of-pocket max. The higher your deductible and out-of-pocket max, the lower your monthly premium. Keep in mind that if you get sick or hurt, you will have to pay for all your medical costs until you meet your plan’s deductible.
  3. Call or stop by. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s smart. When you need medical advice, you call the doctor. When you need health insurance insight, you talk to our helpful reps.