How the Marketplace Works

You have probably heard through various media the Health Insurance Marketplace aka the Exchange will open in a few days. A number of things are probably still unclear. You will need to create an account, enter information, pick a plan, then enroll in a health insurance plan. For coverage to start on January 1, 2014 you must enroll by December 15.

To help you get started here is a reprint of a September 20 article appearing in the HealthCare Blog, located at It reads in part:

You can apply for health coverage, compare all your options, and enroll in a plan in one streamlined application through the Health Insurance Marketplace. When open enrollment begins October 1, 2013, you can fill out your application and see the health coverage options available to you.

1. Create an account
First provide some basic information. Then choose a user name, password, and security questions for added protection.

2. Apply for Marketplace coverage
Enter information about you and your family, including your income, household size, and more. Use this checklist now to help you gather the information you’ll need.

3. Pick a plan
Next you’ll see all the health insurance plans and programs you’re eligible for and compare them side-by-side. You’ll also find out if you can get lower costs on Marketplace coverage.

4. Enroll
Choose a health insurance plan that meets your needs and enroll! Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014.

These are the 4 steps to getting covered in the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you need help trained representatives are available by phone 24/7 at 1-800-318-2596. Visit the Health Insurance Blog for more information.

Navigators will serve as an in-person resource for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace this fall. Navigators are trained and certified to help you understand your health coverage options and enroll in a plan. Below are the recipients of Navigator grants awarded for New Jersey outreach efforts.

Center For Family Services, Inc.
Center For Family Services, Inc. (CFS) is a nonprofit human services agency with 90 years of experience serving individuals and families across the life span. CFS will serve the seven lower southern counties of New Jersey which include: Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, Salem, Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland. The funds will be used to educate and help enroll consumers in the health insurance marketplace.

Orange ACA Navigator Project
The Orange ACA Navigator Project (OACANP) will integrate several successfully existing community-based systems to serve as a guide to help uninsured residents and small businesses in underserved and vulnerable populations. OACANP will help consumers learn about insurance options and assist with enrollment in health plans through the competitive health insurance marketplace.

Urban League of Hudson County
The Urban League of Hudson County (ULOHC) is a community based organization dedicated to advocating, facilitating, and promoting initiatives that allow local residents to participate in the development of urban neighborhoods. ULOHC will partner with the Urban League for Bergen County, the Urban League of Morris County and the Urban League of Union County to assist consumers in enrolling in the Marketplace.

Public Health Solutions
Public Health Solutions (PHS) is one of the largest non-profit organizations in New York City. PHS will partner with four community-based organizations in New Jersey to provide outreach and enrollment assistance in Hudson and Essex Counties.

FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Inc.
The FoodBank was created in 1984 and today serves over 260 pantries, soup kitchens and other feeding programs with almost 7 million pounds of food distributed annually. With the help of roughly 1,000 volunteers each year, the FoodBank’s programs work to eliminate hunger by providing emergency food, skills training, outreach programs and advocacy for families in need. Their work will help connect uninsured and underinsured individuals with information about their health insurance options.

Author: Michael Swayze

A retired county welfare agency administrator, who combines social work and computer skills to share information on community resources via the Internet since 1995. Active in voter engagement activities in Philadelphia, PA.

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