By: Hannah Paczkowski
It's not your typical marketplace. As part of the Affordable Health Care Act or ObamaCare, four insurance companies will offer Nebraskans coverage. In Lincoln, for example, there will be 42 different health care plans available.
"Basically the goal was to allow for a place for people to compare insurance plans, rates, coverage and plan summary benefits," Nebraska Insurance Department Director Bruce Ramge said.
The marketplace opens Oct. 1. During this time individuals and small businesses can shop for insurance plans online, through their insurance agent, over the phone, or through a paper application.
This system will also qualify many low to moderate income residents for tax credits, but for some, they can expect to pay more.
"For many Nebraskans, rates are going up because the coverage that's been required is much different than what used to be in affect," Ramge said.
One difference is that everyone is eligible for insurance.
"People who didn't have insurance before because they have a pre–existing condition might now have an opportunity to find coverage," Ramge said.
The coverage plans fall into five categories.
Catastrophic is for the lowest possible coverage. Bronze covers 60 percent of health care costs. Silver covers 70 percent, Gold covers 80 percent, and Platinum covers 90 percent.
Prices for premiums differ by income and age, and go up by the percentage of coverage.
For help with picking the right coverage, Ramge said to contact an expert.
"We always say the people who know this business are health insurance agents, so that's a good place to start," he said.
If you receive insurance through your employer, this may not affect you. If you receive Medicare, you can go through a different type of marketplace. If you have any questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can call 1-800-318-2596 or click on healthcare.gov.