Recently we saw the State of California “re-brand” its health insurance distribution hub as “Covered California.” Now, the Federal government has re-branded its health insurance “exchange” as the “Health Insurance Marketplace.” On the government’s web site you can view a web video that equates shopping in the Health Insurance Marketplace with buying food in a grocery store. According to the video, comparing the ingredients of a health plan will be as easy as reading the nutrition label on the side of a box of cereal. Let’s hope they’re right.
The Federal “Health Insurance Marketplace” (Exchange) will offer coverage to people who live in states that do not set up their own exchange. Click here to see if your state will likely use the Federal exchange.
The government makes some pretty bold claims on the marketplace page. They say “Thanks to new rules and expanded programs, even working families will be able to get help through the Health Insurance Marketplace. There will be new, expanded programs available, and more people than ever before will qualify for free or low-cost health insurance programs.” (emphasis added.)
Next they say “Most people will be able to get a break on costs through the Marketplace, even if you think your income is too high to get help. One application, one time, and you’ll see all the programs you qualify for.”
I sure hope that they can meet their promises. The low and no-cost health insurance will go to those who qualify for a subsidy. Even with a subsidy, however, applicants must share the cost of their coverage. In California, an individual earning roughly between $15,400 – $46,000 per year will qualify for some subsidy to lower the cost of their health insurance when they purchase their plan through Covered California. So far, the information that I have seen on the cost of individual and family health insurance in 2014 indicates that the price will be very high… even with a subsidy.
For all of our sakes, I hope that the promises of our entrepreneurial government come true.