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Health Insurance Blog - Healthcare.gov

Find out what Marketplace health plans cover

All Marketplace plans cover the same set of essential health benefits, preventive care, and pre-existing conditions. Starting November 1 you can enroll in or renew a plan for 2019, so you’ll continue to have access to these benefits.

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What are essential health benefits?

  • Essential health benefits are a set of 10 categories of services — including doctor's visits, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, prescription drugs, pregnancy and childbirth, mental health, and more — that health insurance plans must cover.
  • Plans must also offer birth control and breastfeeding coverage.
  • These are the minimum requirements for all Marketplace plans. Plans may offer more benefits. You’ll see exactly what’s covered when you compare plans.

What’s preventive care?

  • Most health plans must cover a set of preventive services — like shots and screening tests — at no cost to you.
  • Preventive services are used to prevent illnesses, disease, and other health problems, or to detect illness at an early stage when treatment is likely to work best.
  • These services are free only when delivered by a doctor or other provider in your plan’s network.

What’s coverage for pre-existing conditions?

  • All Marketplace plans must cover treatment for pre-existing medical conditions, like asthma, diabetes, or cancer.
  • Marketplace plans can’t deny you coverage or raise your rates based only on your health.
  • Pregnancy is also covered from the day your plan starts.


POSTED OCTOBER 11, 2018
Open Enrollment is less than one month away!

You have less than one month until you can start enrolling in a 2019 Marketplace health insurance plan. See important dates to remember, and learn things you can do now to prepare.

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Important dates to know

  • The 2019 Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1 to December 15, 2018. This means you have six weeks to enroll in or renew a plan.
  • Plan coverage starts January 1, 2019.

Get ready today to apply November 1

  • Gather everything you need to apply by using this checklist (PDF).
  • Review quick tips about the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • Return to HealthCare.gov shortly before Open Enrollment starts to preview 2019 health plans and prices before you apply.


POSTED OCTOBER 04, 2018
Stay healthy with your free flu shot this fall

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. With your Marketplace health plan, your flu shot is free from a provider in your plan's network.

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Quick answers about the flu shot

  • Why get vaccinated: The flu shot helps keep you and the people around you healthy. According to the CDC, getting the flu shot lowers the risk of flu illnesses, doctor's visits, hospitalizations, and missed work and school.
  • When to get vaccinated: It’s best to get the shot before the flu starts spreading in your community, so try to get it by the end of October. Flu viruses are most common in the fall and winter.
  • Where to go: Getting the flu shot may be more convenient than you think. Enter your ZIP code to find a clinic near you.
  • How much it costs: Most health plans cover a set of preventive services — including the flu shot — at no cost to you when delivered by a doctor or provider in the plan’s network.

Get more flu information from the CDC.



POSTED SEPTEMBER 27, 2018
What to look for when comparing plans

Open Enrollment for 2019 health coverage starts November 1. Knowing just a few things before you apply can make choosing a plan simpler and easier.

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3 things to know about picking a health insurance plan

  • There are 4 categories of health insurance plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. These categories show how costs are shared between you and your plan. Plan categories have nothing to do with quality of care.
  • It’s important to think about your total health care costs, not just the premium. Other out-of-pocket costs have a big impact on your total health care spending — sometimes more than the premium. Get more information on how these costs work together to make up your total spending.
  • There are different types of Marketplace health insurance plans designed to meet different needs. Some plans may limit your provider choices or encourage you to get care from the plan’s network of doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other medical providers. Other plans may pay a greater share of costs for providers outside the plan’s network. Learn more about health insurance plans and network types.

Before you come back to apply for 2019 coverage on November 1, get more tips on picking a health insurance plan that’s right for you.



POSTED SEPTEMBER 20, 2018
3 ways to get ready for 2019 Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment starts November 1. Here’s what you can do now to make the application process smoother.

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3 easy ways to prepare for 2019 Open Enrollment

  • Gather everything you need before you apply. When you apply for or renew your coverage, you’ll be asked to give household, income, and current coverage information. Save yourself time and stress by reviewing this Marketplace checklist (PDF) in advance to make sure you have everything you need.
  • If you have 2018 Marketplace coverage, review your current application to make sure it's still accurate. If it’s not, update your application with any income and/or household changes. If you don’t update your application, you might not get the right amount of premium tax credit or other savings. Starting November 1, you can access your pre-filled 2019 application based on the information you gave for 2018.
  • Set an Open Enrollment deadline reminder. Open Enrollment ends December 15. If you have a 2018 Marketplace plan, you may be automatically enrolled in the same plan (or a similar one) for 2019 if you don’t act by the deadline. This may not be your best option, so be sure to compare all available plans. Mark December 15 on your calendar so you don’t miss out on a plan that may be a better fit for you for 2019.


POSTED SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
Never miss a deadline with 2019 Open Enrollment reminders

Open Enrollment for 2019 Marketplace health insurance runs November 1–December 15. Connect with us today so you don’t miss out on deadline reminders, useful tips, and other information about your health coverage.

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Stay up-to-date with the Marketplace

  • Subscribe to email or text updates. Visit the HealthCare.gov homepage and enter your email address under “Get Important News & Updates.” Click “Sign Up.”
  • Find someone in your area to answer questions. Assistors in your community with special Marketplace training are available to help you. Enter your ZIP code to see a list of groups and people near you.
  • Connect with us on social media. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for the latest updates.


POSTED SEPTEMBER 06, 2018
When can I enroll in a 2019 Marketplace plan?

Open Enrollment for 2019 Marketplace coverage starts in just a few short months. Here are some important enrollment dates to mark on your calendar:

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Key 2019 Open Enrollment dates

  • The 2019 Open Enrollment Period runs from Thursday, November 1, 2018, to Saturday, December 15, 2018.
  • If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2019 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2019.

For other essential enrollment information, get a quick overview of the Health Insurance Marketplace.



POSTED AUGUST 30, 2018
Heading back to school? See student health insurance options

As you get ready for the upcoming school year, don’t leave health insurance off your back-to-school checklist. Getting health insurance may be more affordable — and simpler — than you think. As a college student, there are several options available to you:

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Ask your college about student health plans

Stay on your parent’s plan if you’re under 26

  • If a parent’s health insurance plan covers dependents (no matter whether they got their plan through their job or the Marketplace), you usually can be added to their plan and stay on it until you turn 26.
  • Learn more about staying (or getting on) a parent’s plan.

Get your own Marketplace plan

  • At HealthCare.gov, you’ll find a variety of plans and prices available to you. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for savings based on your income. But if someone will claim you as a tax dependent on next year’s tax return, you won’t be eligible for extra savings.
  • You may be able to get coverage for the rest of 2018 if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Answer a few fast questions to find out.
  • If you don’t qualify, you can apply for a 2019 Marketplace plan starting November 1.


POSTED AUGUST 23, 2018
3 ways to use your health plan when you’re feeling well

Health insurance isn’t only for when you’re sick. You can use it to maintain your health. Understanding how your coverage works before you need care can also make things easier if you get sick.

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Take advantage of free insurance benefits anytime

  • Get preventive services, like the flu shot or a depression screening, that are right for you.
  • Being proactive with preventive care can prevent illnesses, diseases, and other health problems, or detect illness at an early stage when treatment is likely to work best.
  • These services are free when delivered by a doctor or other provider in your plan’s network.

Even if you don’t need care right now, find a doctor you can trust

  • Taking the time to find a doctor you trust when you’re feeling well can save you stress when you get sick.
  • You usually pay less if you choose a doctor in your network. Visit your health plan’s website and check the provider directory to see who’s in your network.

Understand your costs before you need care

  • It’s important to learn which services in your plan aren’t subject to your health insurance deductible.
  • Some plans charge only a copayment for primary care visits before you meet your deductible; others offer discounts on drugs, including generic drugs.
  • Knowing your costs up front can prevent the stress of unexpected costs later on.


POSTED AUGUST 16, 2018
Have a pre-existing condition? Your health coverage isn't affected

Did you know all Marketplace plans must cover treatment for pre-existing medical conditions, like asthma, diabetes, and cancer?

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What’s a pre-existing condition?

  • A pre-existing condition is a health problem you had before the date that your new health coverage starts.
  • Pre-existing conditions include epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, lupus, sleep apnea, and many more.

Can a health insurance company deny me or charge me more for my pre-existing condition?

  • No. An insurance company can’t deny you, charge you more, or refuse to pay for essential health benefits because of any condition you had before your coverage started.
  • Also, Marketplace plans can't put annual or lifetime limits on your coverage.
  • Learn more about coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Is pregnancy treated as a pre-existing condition?

  • Yes. If you were pregnant before you applied, your insurance plan can't reject you or charge you more because of your pregnancy.
  • Once you're enrolled, your pregnancy and childbirth are covered from the day your plan starts.
  • Get more information on coverage for pregnancy and childbirth.


POSTED AUGUST 09, 2018

News – Insurance Journal

New Orleans Towing Company Ordered to Pay in Pregnancy Discrimination Suit
A U.S. District Court has entered judgment against a New Orleans-based towing company for failing to respond to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for breaching an EEOC mediation agreement of a pregnancy discrimination charge. According …

POSTED OCTOBER 23, 2018 4:39 PM
Zurich North America, Allied Public Risk Partner on Public Sector Program
Schaumburg, Illinois-based Zurich North America has entered into an agreement with program administrator Allied Public Risk LLC to provide a full range of insurance coverage to select cities, towns, boroughs, counties and special service districts with populations under 100,000. Zurich …

POSTED OCTOBER 23, 2018 4:22 PM
Opioid Memorial in Houston as Part of Nationwide Tour
The National Safety Council on Monday made Houston the sixth stop on a nationwide tour of its exhibit, Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis, by unveiling the display inside the George R. Brown Convention …

POSTED OCTOBER 23, 2018 4:21 PM
Appalachian Underwriters Names Schnarre as Midwest External Marketing Rep
Appalachian Underwriters Inc. has named Nick Schnarre as external marketing representative for Illinois, Indiana and Missouri agents. He will be working remotely in the St. Louis, Missouri, area, helping agents in those states listed find the best markets and products …

POSTED OCTOBER 23, 2018 4:19 PM
Judge Dismisses Nebraska County’s Claim Against Insurers
Gage County’s insurance policies from a Nebraska risk-sharing pool of companies don’t cover $28.1 million that a jury awarded to six people who were wrongfully convicted in the 1985 rape and killing of a woman, a judge ruled. Judge Jodi …

POSTED OCTOBER 23, 2018 4:18 PM
Midwest Food Distributor to Pay $3.6M to Settle Sex Discrimination Lawsuit
A food distributor with warehouses in Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, will pay $3.6 million to settle a class sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC alleged that Sherwood Food …

POSTED OCTOBER 23, 2018 4:09 PM
Washington Packing House to Pay $525K in Sexual Harassment Settlement
A Grant County, Wash. vegetable-packing house will pay $525,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging a supervisor groped, propositioned and retaliated against female workers. The Seattle Times reports State Attorney General Bob Ferguson says the settlement announced with Quincy-based Horning Brothers …

POSTED OCTOBER 23, 2018 3:01 PM
Farmers in Hawaii Lost $28M Because of Volcano
A survey of Big Island farmers has found that they suffered nearly $28 million in damages because of the months-long eruption earlier this year of the Kilauea volcano, the Hawaii Tribune Herald reported. The survey of 46 farmers by University …

POSTED OCTOBER 23, 2018 2:59 PM
Delaware Workers’ Comp Insurance Rates Decrease for Second Year in a Row
Workers’ compensation insurance rates will decrease for the second year in a row in Delaware, effective December 1, 2018. “I am delighted to approve yet another decrease in workers’ compensation rates in Delaware and even happier to see a double-digit …

POSTED OCTOBER 23, 2018 2:02 PM
Wells Fargo Will Pay $65M Penalty to New York Over Cross-Selling Practices
Wells Fargo & Co. will pay a $65 million penalty to New York state related to its cross-selling practices. The bank failed to disclose to investors that the success of its cross-selling – the pitching of additional financial products to …

POSTED OCTOBER 23, 2018 1:59 PM

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