Your Source for Health Reform

Topic: Getting Coverage



The health insurance marketplace is new, and it can be a little daunting – especially if you have only had health insurer from your employer, or have not had insurance for a while. Fortunately, there are many helpful materials.


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The Premium Tax Credit

The tax credit can help make purchasing health insurance coverage more affordable for people with moderate incomes who buy insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. This guide from the IRS explains how to determine whether you are eligible, choosing whether to take the credit now or later, and how to claim the credit on your federal tax return.

Need to Know: Provider Networks

This fact sheet from CMS explains how provider networks work, how to find out if your doctor is in your network, what plans use provider networks, and the differences among various types of networks.

Special Enrollment Periods Explained

This IHM-original guide explains the opportunities people have to enroll in health coverage outside of open enrollment periods.

ACA Guides for Farmworker Families

These fact sheets from Farmworker Justice provide basic information on health insurance options for farmworkers and their family members who may be eligible for tax credits, as well as providing information about the health insurance requirement (the “minimum essential coverage” provision). The fact sheets are available in English and Spanish. (more…)

Creating a HealthCare.gov Account

This short set of slides, intended to guide consumers through the process of setting up an account on the Health Insurance Marketplace, shows you what you need to have ready, and the simple steps it takes to create the account.

Buying Children’s Dental Coverage on the Marketplace

Of all the provisions in the Affordable Care Act, the children’s dental benefit can be most confusing to families. This guide produced by Families USA and the Children’s Dental Health Project uses eight frequently asked questions to help parents understand how this benefit works.

Reporting Your Income on the Marketplace

This resource from Consumers Union will explain how to report your income when filing your ACA application to buy health insurance on your state’s Marketplace, and how to verify your income down the road.

Illinois Marketplace Plan Comparison Tool

This interactive tool from Consumers’ CHECKBOOK takes you through a few simple steps to find the best health plan for someone like you. Find every plan available to you in the Marketplace compared on total estimated cost (not just premiums or deductibles), plan quality, doctor availability, and other factors.

Differences between Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Plans

The health insurance Marketplace groups plans into 4 different categories, or metal levels, based upon how much insurance pays towards health care costs. This fact sheet from Families USA explains the differences between these categories.

Catastrophic Health Insurance Fact Sheet

In addition to platinum, gold, silver, and bronze plans, health insurance marketplaces with sell “catastrophic” health plans. Catastrophic plans pay for even less of your health costs than bronze plans, but have low monthly fees. This fact sheet from Families USA provides further detail on how Catastrophic health plans are different than other plans, info on financial assistance, and whether a person may qualify.

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