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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Health Cost Estimator

This tool from the National Health Council helps consumers estimate health costs each year based upon costs of insurance, care, and medications.

Detailed Marketplace Application Checklist

The Marketplace offers plans with different levels of coverage and price. This checklist from the National Health Council helps you select the plan that is the best match for your expected health needs by balancing medical needs and budget.

Illinois Health Insurance 101

Knowing the facts can make all the difference. To make the most of new choices, protections and financial help, you need good information. This guide from Illinois PIRG and the U.S. Education Fund can help you find quality coverage that won’t break the bank.

How To Pay for Insurance on the Marketplace

This guide compares the various payment methods available to consumers, with helpful hints for each. Because your health insurance could be suspended if payments aren’t made, it is important you choose a payment option that will make it as easy as possible for you to pay on time. The document was created by the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, in collaboration with several partners.

What Your Family Needs to Know About the ACA

Since it took effect in 2010, the ACA has made important changes to the way health care coverage works for children and families. The American Academy of Pediatrics created this guide in 2013 to explain some key things that families should know – including how to make sure your current pediatrician is included in the plan you choose.

The Simple Dollar’s Guide to Health Insurance

As an informed consumer, understanding the building blocks of health insurance can end up saving you money. This guide will take you through the health insurance essentials, teaching you how to go about making the stressful financial and medical decisions without compromising your coverage.

Cut the Cost of Health Insurance – Tax Credit Brochure

This 2013 brochure from Consumers Union provides simple examples that help you see if you qualify for the new tax credit and how to decide whether you want to take the credit in advance, or take it later and lower the amount you pay at tax time.

Young Person’s Guide to Health Insurance

This brochure, designed for graduating seniors by Families USA and the Illinois PIRG, explains the benefits of health insurance for young adults and provides information on having coverage through ones parents’ plan until age 26, using healthcare.gov, and the new rights and consumer protections young people have under the Affordable Care Act.

The Requirement to Buy Coverage

Along with changes to the health insurance system that guarantee access to coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing health conditions, the Affordable Care Act includes a requirement that many people be insured or pay a penalty. This simple flowchart by the Kaiser Family Foundation illustrates how that requirement (sometimes known as an “individual mandate”) works.

Off-Marketplace Insurance Plan Finder

This interactive tool at healthcare.gov helps you find and compare private health plans that are available outside the Marketplace. Note that this tool only identifies plans based on basic information you provide. It doesn’t let you buy. If you find a plan that meets your needs, you can buy it directly from the insurance company.

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