About the New Health Marketplace

The 2015 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Starts November 15th

Starting November 15, people needing health insurance coverage for 2015 will be able to shop, apply for, and enroll in a Marketplace plan. Persons enrolled in Marketplace plans in 2014 should review their coverage needs and eligibility for financial support in 2015. Starting November 1, BJC will be accepting appointments for counseling sessions with a Certified Application Counselor at a BJC hospital in your community.

BJC will have more complete information to share in early November about our participation in Marketplace plans in 2015. In the meantime, please see below for important information about the Marketplace and how to schedule your appointment come November.

Marketplace basics for 2015 Open Enrollment

Here are some important facts about the Marketplace and health insurance for 2015:

  •       Most Americans are now required to have health insurance. People who were uninsured in part or all of 2014 may be subject to a tax penalty when they file their 2014 tax return.

    • Many uninsured persons will be exempt from this requirement. A Certified Application Counselor can help you figure out if this applies to you.

  • If you can’t get affordable health insurance through your job, or through a public program like Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA, then you may be eligible to buy coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

  • You may also qualify for financial help to lower your health insurance costs. Even a family of four making up to $94,200 a year can get help. Check this table to see if you qualify for savings.
  • Health insurance plans sold through the Marketplace must cover basic health needs like doctor's visits, prescriptions medications and hospital stays, and must provide free coverage of preventive health services. You cannot be denied coverage because of your health condition.

For persons who enrolled in a Marketplace plan in 2014:

The plans available on the Marketplace in 2015 will be different from those in 2014. Also, any changes to your income between 2014 and 2015 will affect your eligibility for subsidies. If you take no action, the Marketplace will renew your 2014 plan for 2015, and apply your 2014 subsidy to your 2015 premiums. To maximize your coverage and financial support in 2015, please re-apply for the Marketplace during the Marketplace Open Enrollment period.

How to apply

There are simple steps to sign up for health insurance through the Marketplace. Use this checklist to get ready. Then:

  1. Visit www.HealthCare.gov
  2. Create an account – Give your name, address and other basic information to get started
  3. Fill out the application – Provide more information about yourself and your family, such as household size, income and other information to see your plan options
  4. Compare – You can look at health insurance plans side-by-side and see if you qualify for lower premiums
  5. Get covered – Choose the plan that best meets your and your family’s needs
Want more help?

When Open Enrollment begins on November 15th, BJC hospitals will have Certified Application Counselors on site to help you apply. After November 1st, please call 855-747-4994 or email us to schedule an appointment between 11/15/14 and 02/15/15.

Use this checklist to help prepare for your appointment.

More resources

There are plenty of resources available online if you would like to learn even more about the Health Insurance Marketplace:

This video from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides a great overview of the Health Insurance Reform generally and the Marketplace specifically.

There are also a number of short videos on the Healthcare.gov YouTube channel including:

  • How premium subsidies work
  • How cost-sharing subsidies work
  • How to choose a plan in the Marketplace