When key parts of the health care law take effect in 2014, there will be a new way to buy health insurance: the Health Insurance Marketplace. To assist you in evaluating options for yourself and your family, this notice provides basic information about the new Marketplace and employment based healthcare coverage offered by your employer.
What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
The Marketplace is designed to help you find health insurance that meets your needs and fits your budget. The Marketplace offers "one-stop shopping" to find and compare private health insurance options. You may also be eligible for a new kind of tax credit that lowers your monthly premium right away. Open enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace begins in October 2013 for coverage starting as early as January 1, 2014.
Can I Save Money on my Health Insurance Premiums in the Marketplace?
No, City employees do not qualify for a lower monthly premium because the city offers healthcare coverage, and the coverage meets the Healthcare Reform standards.
Does Employer Health Coverage Affect Eligibility for Premium Savings through the Marketplace?
Yes. If you have an offer of healthcare coverage from your employer that meets certain standards, you will not be eligible for a tax credit through the Marketplace and may wish to enroll in your employer's health plan. However, you may be eligible for a tax credit that lowers your monthly premium or a reduction in certain cost-sharing if your employer does not offer coverage to you at all or does not offer coverage that meets certain standards. If the cost of a plan from your employer that would cover you (and not any other members of your family) is more than 9.5% of your household income for the year, or if the coverage your employer provides does not meet the "minimum value" standard set by the Affordable Care Act, you may be eligible for a tax credit.
Note: If you purchase a health plan through the Marketplace instead of accepting health coverage offered by your employer, then you may lose the employer contribution (if any) to the employer offered coverage. Also, this employer contribution as well as your employee contribution to employer offered coverage is often excluded from income for Federal and State income tax purposes. Your payments for coverage through the Marketplace are made on an after-tax basis.
How Can I Get More Information?
For more information about your coverage offered by your employer, please check your summary plan description or contact City of New Orleans, Benefits Administration, (504) 658-8615.
The Marketplace can help you evaluate your coverage options, including your eligibility for coverage through the Marketplace and its cost. Please visit HealthCare.gov for more information, including an online application for health insurance coverage and contact information for a Health Insurance Marketplace in your area.