ANDERSON — Enrollment in insurance plans offered through the Indiana Marketplace has become nonexistent. That’s because the Marketplace website is not working.
“It’s very frustrating for us,” said Marianne Spangler, community director of preventive services for Community Hospital Anderson.
Spangler said people can register to use the Marketplace, which opened on Oct. 1, but that is as far in the enrollment process as they can get.
“You cannot look at a plan side-by-side,” she said. “We have been unable to complete the whole application process.”
In a live chat session on www.healthcare.gov, The Herald Bulletin was told there was a glitch on the website that prevents people from logging into the system. The assistant said they are aware of the problem and are in the middle of fixing it.
Until the problem is fixed, people are still trying to figure out what the Marketplace is and if they need to enroll for the insurance coverage being offered. To better understand what the Marketplace is and how it is used, The Herald Bulletin has asked officials to answer 10 commonly asked questions.
1. What is the Indiana Marketplace?
The Marketplace is an online portal to insurance plans being offered by the state. The Marketplace is for people who do not have insurance, who cannot afford insurance, who are searching for better or more insurance coverage options, who have pre-existing conditions and trouble obtaining insurance or for small businesses that want to offer insurance to their employees.
2. Do I have to enroll?
The law requires that everyone have insurance with 10 minimum health benefits by 2014. The minimum benefits include outpatient care provided when a person is not admitted to a hospital, emergency services, hospitalizations, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse assistance, prescription drugs, rehabilitation and disability services, laboratory services, preventive, wellness and pediatric services.
3. Do I have to purchase my insurance through the Indiana Marketplace?
No. The law requires that everyone who does not qualify for an exemption must have insurance with the 10 minimum health benefits, but the insurance can be purchased through independent agents and brokers or provided through an employer. Plans that are not purchased through the Marketplace, however, do not qualify for any subsidies or tax credits that can be applied toward health insurance premiums.
4. Who is eligible to purchase coverage on the Marketplace?
Anyone who is age 64 or younger is eligible for the Marketplace insurance plans.
5. What does the Marketplace health insurance cover?
The private health insurance plans offered through the Marketplace all offer the same set of 10 minimum essential health benefits. Some insurance plans offer extra services at additional cost. Plans are also offered with varying co-pay options and deductibles to accommodate individual needs.
6. Does someone have to enroll me or can I enroll myself?
You can enroll yourself online at www.healthcare.gov or local certified navigators at Community Hospital Anderson are available to assist you. St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital also offers certified navigator enrollment assistance out of its Indianapolis offices. Individual enrollment appointments, in Anderson, can be made by calling 298-1775 and leaving a message.
7. I want to keep my doctor; which plan on the Marketplace should I choose?
Contact your health care provider to see which insurance plan they accept before choosing your coverage. St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital only accepts MDwise insurance and Community Hospital Anderson only accepts Anthem insurance.
8. What happens if I don’t get insurance by 2014?
There is a penalty. If you don’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll have to pay a penalty of $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, or 1 percent of your income — whichever is higher. The fee is scheduled to increase every year. Some people may qualify for a fee exemption based on income, religion or if you belong to an Indiana Tribe. To qualify for an exemption, you must register through the Marketplace website.
9. I have purchased insurance on the Marketplace; when will my coverage begin?
Coverage plans begins Jan. 1, 2014, as long as a first insurance premium payment has been made.
10. How will the government know if I have insurance coverage if I do not purchase a plan through the Marketplace?
In 2015, people will include their insurance coverage information for 2014 when they file their 2014 taxes.
Sources: www.healthcare.gov and www.HHS.gov
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Open enrollment Individual sessions with certified navigators will be offered at Community Hospital Anderson's Education Center, 1923 N. Madison Ave., on the following days and times: - Tuesday, Oct. 15, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Wednesday, Oct. 16, 6 to 8 p.m. - Tuesday, Oct. 29, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Tuesday, Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Tuesday, Nov. 26, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Source: www.communityanderson.com/Marketplace/