Dear Addy: Marketplace

Dear Addy,

I work for a small business. Health insurance through my company for my family costs $1,000 a month. At the end of the year, the monthly premium will jump to $1,300 a month, and we can’t afford to pay that much. On top of this, for emergency care and hospitalizations we have to pay 30% of the cost out of our own pockets. Our oldest daughter turns (27) soon and we can’t keep her on our insurance. I’m going to look for a job at a larger company to get cheaper insurance, but I still don’t know what to do about my daughter.

Thank you,
Child Soon-to-be Uninsured

Dear Soon,

Unfortunately there are many families like yours whose monthly premiums take a large bite out of each paycheck. Looking for a position at a larger company with a smaller premium is an option but if you really like your current job, this may not be the best solution. Another option for you and your daughter is the new Health Insurance Marketplace (known as “the Marketplace”). Starting October 1, 2013, families, individuals, and even small businesses can sign up for health insurance plans on the Marketplace for coverage that will start January 1, 2014.

On the Marketplace you will be able to compare plans, including what is covered and at what costs. Individuals and families at certain income levels can qualify for subsidies to help them pay for plans offered on the Marketplace and your daughter may qualify for a subsidy.

The Marketplace is a transparent and competitive health insurance market where individuals, families, and small businesses can learn about their health coverage options, compare health insurance plans based on costs, benefits, and other important features, choose a plan, and enroll in coverage. The Marketplace also includes information on programs that help people pay for coverage, including ways to save on monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and other programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Individuals and families can apply for coverage online, by phone, or with a paper application.