A health insurance exchange as required by the passage of the health care reform bill will be a marketplace for consumers (non-Medicare) to go who are required to buy their own health insurance. The federal government run shopping website will offer private insurance company plans described as levels such as Gold, Silver and Bronze.
The health insurance exchanges should be up and running by the fall of 2013 with coverage beginning on January 1, 2014.
Private insurance companies will create plans to match the benefits required by the government who will also set price guidelines.
The individuals who will be subject to purchasing through the exchange will be those not covered by an employer plan as well as those people who have their own individual plan now that is not “grandfathered”.
In addition, all other people who do not currently have health insurance will be required to purchase through the exchange or face a penalty (now defined as a tax). People who purchase through the exchange can’t be declined or charged a higher premium based on pre-existing conditions and what you pay will be determined based on income.
Although it is expected that the rates on the policies sold through the exchange will be higher than current rates, many people will get help from the government to pay their premium. The cut-off for subsidies looks like it will be 400% of the federal poverty level.
To view the complete Ohio Health Benefits Fall 2012 newsletter click here.