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Affordable Care Act Information Center
Affordable Care Act:
What does it mean and what do I need to know?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is national legislation which makes numerous changes in how health care is offered to many Americans. For a general overview, see the following video:
A key feature of the ACA is the availability of new health insurance options (Qualified Health Plans) which can provide better insurance at a more affordable price for many Americans. These options are provided through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Individuals have until March 31, 2014 to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan through the Marketplace for 2014. To have Marketplace insurance coverage that begins in January 2014, individuals must enroll by December 23, 2013. Consumers who enroll in a Marketplace insurance plan by that date will have until January 10, 2014 to pay their first month's premium. (Blue Cross Blue Shield customers in TN will have until January 15, 2014).
There is a scheduled outage at the Federal Data Services Hub starting Saturday, February 15, at 3PM EST / 2PM CST and ending on Tuesday, February 18, at 5AM EST / 4AM CST for the Social Security Administration's annual systems maintenance. During this period, verification of Social Security Numbers and other related data via the Hub will be unavailable.
Individuals attempting to complete the application process on HealthCare.gov during this period will not be able to immediately receive an eligibility determination/assessment from the Marketplace. return to HealthCare.gov on or after February 18 to complete the enrollment process for coverage beginning April 1. Upon completion, consumers will need to save their application and
If consumers want coverage effective on March 1, 2014, they need to sign up by February 15 before 3PM EST / 2PM CST. If consumers sign up during this outage period, they will not be able to find out what they qualify for until after 5AM EST / 4 AM CST on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Those individuals who signed up during the outage should call the Federal Call Center at 800-318-2596 starting on February 18 to request March coverage. A blog post from Healthcare.gov is available here.
All other services of the Hub should function as usual.
Residents of Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi will be able to shop for these options on the national Marketplace websites www.healthcare.gov/ or in Spanish www.cuidadodesalud.gov/es/ . They can call also the national 24 hour hotline at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-888-871-6594) for information and assistance in choosing a plan .
Call LINC/2-1-1 at 2-1-1 (alternate numbers 901-415-2790 or toll-free 1-855-354-4211) for information on where to get in-person assistance with Marketplace enrollment, how to access public computers, etc.
- Do I have to get insurance? What is the "individual mandate"?
- How do I get help with exploring options and enrolling?
- How is this better than what I have now?
- In-person Information Sessions & Enrollment Assistance
- Ten Essential Benefits
- What information do I need to apply?
- What is "Medicaid expansion" and how is it related to my health insurance choices?
- What is "minimum essential coverage"?
- What is available for employers?
- What will be in the Qualified Health Plans (QHPs)?
- Consumer Protections
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