Beginning Tuesday, Austinites will be able to enroll in the new Health Insurance Marketplace through the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as Obamacare. You’ve probably already heard various bits and pieces about the marketplace, but simply put, folks will be able to compare prices and shop for health insurance online, in person or by phone. It is a lot like a travel website, where you are presented with different trip options and costs. In this instance, however, uninsured and underinsured Texans will be able to view a range of private insurance companies, coverage and cost choices, then select the option that best fits their needs and budget.
The opening of the marketplace means that the estimated 200,000 uninsured men, women and children in Travis County will have access to affordable, private health insurance. It also means that families with pre-existing conditions, like cancer, diabetes and even migraines, are now protected against discrimination; they will be able to get coverage. All plans offered through the marketplace will include the basic care people use most – doctor visits, maternity care, hospital stays, well checks, prescriptions and more. And here in Austin, folks are working hard to make enrollment as simple and straightforward as possible.
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If you would like to learn more about the enrollment process, you can call 211 or visit www.healthcare.gov.