Consumers can Better Compare Plans with New Tool to Estimate Lower Costs

Posted December 16, 2013

We’ve been working hard to ensure that consumers have an improved experience when applying for and enrolling in Marketplace coverage at HealthCare.gov. Today, we’ve enhanced our window shopping feature again to provide consumers with an estimate of the lower costs they might qualify for at the Marketplace. This will help individuals and families to find a plan that fits their needs and budget.

With our update, consumers now can supply their household size and income to get an estimate of any premium tax credit for which they might qualify to use toward the cost of paying for a Marketplace plan.  This will provide a much more realistic price estimate for people who qualify for subsidies, by showing them plan premiums after the estimated tax credit has been applied.  The new feature also helps consumers to see if they may be eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Our enhanced window shopping is one more improvement to HealthCare.gov to help ensure that consumers have the information and assistance they need to apply for and enroll in new coverage options.  Consumers have until December 23 to enroll in health coverage that can start as soon as January 1, 2014, and the Marketplace Open Enrollment period runs until March 31, 2014. 

There are several important steps that you need to take in order to have Marketplace coverage that starts on January 1st:

  1. Completely fill out the application with the Marketplace, or directly through the insurer of your choice.
  2. If you’re seeking financial assistance, receive an eligibility determination with respect to a subsidy that helps qualified individuals enjoy lower costs.
  3. Select a plan by December 23rd.
  4. Submit a payment for the amount due by December 31st, or any later date that your insurer may set.  
  5. If you’ve already received an insurance card, as long as you pay your premium by December 31st, or any later date that your insurer may set, you’re covered.  If you haven’t received a card, you should contact the plan you selected to confirm that your enrollment has, in fact, taken place.

And remember, if you’re just starting the application and enrollment process—or you need assistance along the way—you can always get help where and when you need it: online, on the phone through the Marketplace Call Center, or in person from Navigators or certified assisters in your area. Whichever way you choose, you’ll have the help you need to enroll in coverage.