As you may know, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is launching a Health Insurance Marketplace on October 1 to help simplify the open enrollment process and demystify the different health insurance plans and rates available to Americans who donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t receive health benefits through their employers. But what can you do to learn more about your options until then? Dial into the newly available call centers or log onto the new website from the Department of Health And Human Services (HHS).
Yesterday, the Obama administration launched a new education effort around the Health Insurance Marketplace by opening new call centers and re-launching its website, www.HealthCare.gov to provide more information to consumers.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The new website and toll-free number have a simple mission: To make sure every American who needs health coverage has the information they need to make choices that are right for themselves and their familiesÃ¢â‚¬”or their businesses,Ã¢â‚¬Â HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a press release.
Consumers can reach the call centers 24/7 at the toll-free number (800) 318-2596. The call centers, which HHS will eventually staff with as many as 9,000 workers, can answer questions about coverage, premiums, plans, and enrollment. Those with hearing impairments can call (855)-889-4325 for assistance.
Like the call centers, the website provides detailed information on the Affordable Care Act itself, coverage eligibility, how to get lower cost on coverage, plans for small businesses, and more.
The site features a countdown to the Oct. 1 start of open enrollment, as well as to the Jan. 1 coverage start date and the Mar. 31 enrollment end date. Additional features include informational videos, a health insurance blog, live chat capability, social media integration, and an email update alert system.
"In October, HealthCare.gov will be the online destination for consumers to compare and enroll in affordable, qualified health plans," says Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. When that date hits, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be able to view specific plan and pricing options, create accounts, and fill out enrollment applications online. But by checking out the site and calling in for information before the big day, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be ready to register and find the coverage that fits you best right from the get-go.
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