What Is Healthcare.gov?
The federal government has established a service to help people shop for and enroll in so-called affordable health insurance by creating and operating the entity known as the Marketplace, located at HealthCare.gov. Some states, however, run their own Marketplaces. There are options for small businesses at healthcare.gov as well. For those who wish to participate in the Marketplace, they enter the front door at healthcare.gov login.
How Does Obamacare Relate to Healthcare.gov Login?
The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, has three goals. The law is intended to make health insurance available to more people by allowing subsidies known as premium tax credits to lower the costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. It purports to do so through a convenient location—healthcare.gov login.
Obamacare is also intended to expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level, although not all states have expanded their Medicaid programs. Participation in Medicare expansion begins at healthcare.gov login.
Realized or not, Obamacare is also intended to provide a structure to test innovative healthcare delivery methods designed to lower the cost of healthcare. Participation in healthcare delivery programs also begins at healthcare.gov login.
Healthcare.gov Coverage and Plans
Potential participants can view health insurance plans and prices at https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/ by typing in their ZIP Code. At this stage, prices are only full-price estimates and will not be displayed as exact prices until the participants create an account, fill out an application and answer essential questions including household size, income, eligibility and deductions.
Typing in a ZIP code leads to a page to view available plans sorted from the lowest premiums to most expensive; Bronze, Silver or Gold Plans; EPO or HMO and HSA-eligible.
What Do the Marketplace Plans Cover?
All plans are required to cover the same basic services:
Specific services can vary based on state requirements. Plans may offer additional benefits including adult dental and vision, and medical management programs such as for pain and diabetes.
What Are the Plan Levels?
From healthcare.gov login, participants can view all the plans that are available to them. These plans are also known as Metal Plan types, and there are four levels. Some states also offer a Catastrophic Plan.
The Bronze Plan covers 60% and the participant pays 40%. Bronze plans have the least expensive premiums and the highest co-pays and coinsurance. Bronze plans often have high deductibles. The Bronze Plan may be a good choice to protect against a worst-case scenario, but most of the routine care will come out of the participant’s pocket.
The Silver Plan covers 70% and the participant pays 30%. Silver plans have more expensive premiums than the bronze, but have lower co-pays and coinsurance than the gold plan. Tax credits are based on the cost of the second least expensive Silver Plan sold the participant’s area. People with lower incomes may qualify for reduced out-of-pocket costs, but they must enroll in a silver level plan to take advantage of the discounts.
The Gold Plan covers 80% and the participant pays 40%. Monthly premiums are high, but healthcare costs are lower whenever care is needed. The Gold Plan may be a good choice if a participant requires a lot of care, because more costs are covered.
The Platinum Plan covers 90% and the participant pays 10%. This plan has the highest monthly premium, but the lowest cost when care is needed. Deductibles are low so that the plan begins paying its share sooner than the previous three categories. The Platinum Plan is a good choice if the participant requires a great deal of healthcare and is willing to pay a very high monthly premium.
Catastrophic Health Plan
Catastrophic health plans have very low monthly premiums and very high deductibles. These plans are a way to protect the participant from a worst-case scenario, but essentially all of the routine medical expenses will be out-of-pocket. Catastrophic health plans are only available to people under 30 or people of any age with a hardship or affordability exemption. Catastrophic plans cover the same essential benefits as all the other plans.
What Do EPO, HMO and HSA-eligible Mean?
An EPO is an exclusive provider organization that offers health insurance plans that are rather like a hybrid between HMOs (health maintenance organizations) and PPO’s (preferred provider organizations). EPO’s do not cover out of network healthcare providers or services. A referral from a primary care physician is not required before seeing a specialist. An EPO, when offered, is a good choice for those who want the freedom to make appointments directly but don’t mind doing so within the approved network of providers.
An HMO is a type of insurance plan that limits coverage for care to doctors and other providers who work for or contract within the HMO system. As a general rule, HMOs do not cover out of network care except in emergencies. HMOs often require participants to live or work within its service areas to be eligible. HMOs often provide integrated care that focuses on prevention and wellness.
An HSA (health savings account) is an option for participants who want comprehensive individual health insurance while building up tax-free savings. HSA’s allow individuals to use tax-free funds to pay for medical expenses, and employers often contribute matching dollars. HSA’s can only be used if the participant has an HDHP (high deductible health plan). HSA funds roll over year-to-year if they are not spent; HSA’s may earn tax-free interest.
Healthcare.gov Login and Registration
For those who wish to obtain the health care coverage that they cannot find elsewhere, and/or for those who wish to avoid the penalty for not having health insurance, the registration process begins at healthcare.gov login. First, an account will have to be created, starting with the participant’s ZIP code and email address. Next, participants will choose a username and password and create security questions for added protection. Identity will need to be verified based on information in the participant’s credit report.
The login process starts when healthcare.gov is typed in to any web-ready device. The username and password will be input, or there are directions in case the participant has forgotten their username and/or password. From there, the participant’s dashboard appears. After selecting individuals and families, small business employers (SHOP), or small business employees, the selection process begins.
For those who wish to take part in the Marketplace, they will enter the front door at healthcare.gov login. The Marketplace is the location where services offered by the federal government in response to the 2010 Affordable Care Act can be found. The service helps people to shop for and enroll in so-called affordable healthcare plans that they cannot find nor afford on their own. It a way, this makes the federal government a matchmaker of sorts.
Potential candidates enter the matchmaking location through healthcare.gov login, where the “dating” begins between those needing healthcare coverage and “suitors” offering plans at increasingly higher premiums. The resulting “marriage” between those needing insurance and those offering healthcare plans endures for one year at a time. Each year, insurance companies offering healthcare plans renegotiate rates and those needing healthcare repeat the process of shopping and selecting from several plans. Most insurance providers offer repeat-participants the option to continue with their previous plan, albeit at a higher rate.
Marketplace plans are required to cover the same basic services, but so far have been allowed to increase premiums without being required to expand or improve on services. Increases in premiums and limitations in services are also dictated by each state’s laws. There are four Metal Plan types, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum, a catastrophic health plan, and EPO/HMO /HAS-eligible options. Not all states, or even every ZIP Code within the state, offers every option.
The requirement to participate in the Marketplaces begins with creating an account, filling out an application and answering questions, including information about household and income. Healthcare.gov login is the front door through which those needing healthcare begin the process of selecting an insurance plan that best matches their needs. The website is well-designed and offers plenty of help screens, so if participants become lost or otherwise need help, they will find it at healthcare.gov