The Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the Healthcare Exchange) is a new Federal Government web site set up to provide an organized and competitive market for buying health insurance. It will offer a choice of different Preferred Medical Plan options.
Beginning October 1, 2013, you can sign up for a Health Insurance Marketplace plan on the Preferred Medical Plan web site.
There will be plans available of varying cost and coverage indicated by four levels: bronze, silver, gold and catastrophic.
These plan options will offer coverage that meets essential health benefits, with different out-of-pocket costs for things like doctor or hospital visits and different premiums.
Essential Health Benefits include at least these 10 categories:
Ambulatory patient services
Rehabilitative and habiliitative services and devices
Maternity and newborn care
Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (pediatric oral services may be provided by stand-alone plan)
One other option, called a Catastrophic Plan, is only for single people under age 30, or people who qualify through financial hardship. The Catastrophic Plan has a lower premium, includes affordable preventive benefits and a higher cost share in the form of deductibles for other medical expenses.