Affordable Care Act: Information & Guidance


Health Insurance Marketplace (healthcare.gov) is the primary tool for learning about the Marketplace, and to shop for and enroll in plans.

Telephone assistance for the Health Insurance Marketplace is available 24/7 – 1-800-318-2596

  • Missouri residents can find more information at Cover Missouri.
  • Kansas residents can find more information at InsureKS.org.
  • Residents of the Kansas City metro area can get more information at the Blue KC Health Reform Resource website, from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City.

About the Health Insurance Marketplace

  • The Health Insurance Marketplace is for people seeking insurance or who are uninsured. Generally, people who currently have insurance through their workplace, who have insurance through Medicaid/KanCare, Medicare, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Tricare or the Veterans health care program are not the target of this open enrollment period.
     
  • The Marketplace is a new way to find quality health coverage. Use it if you don’t have coverage now, or if you do have coverage but want to look at other options.
     
  • The Marketplace simplifies your search for health coverage by gathering the options available in your area in one place. You can compare plans based on price, benefits, and other features important to you before you make a choice. Plans will be presented in four categories – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum – to make comparing them easier.
     
  • Insurance plans in the Marketplace are offered by private companies. They cover the same core set of benefits called essential health benefits. No plan can turn you away or charge you more because you have an illness or medical condition. They must cover treatments for these conditions. Plans can’t charge women more than men for the same plan. Many preventive services are covered at no cost to you.

    Instructional Videos

     

    This video introduces an interactive online application process for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace on HealthCare.gov. Using an example of a single man from Arizona, images of computer screens from the application unfold while a narrator explains the content of each screen. The program concludes with a printable summary of the application and an explanation of what benefits will be received.

     

    This video introduces the Marketplace enrollment process for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace on HealthCare.gov. Using the same individual from the Marketplace Application video as an example, the scenario continues, as he follows step-by-step instructions on how to find and enroll in a health plan. Images of computer screens from the Marketplace enrollment process unfold while a narrator explains the content of each screen. The program concludes with a successful completion of all enrollment steps, and how to contact the health plan to submit payment.

    Find local application assistance

    Visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov to find help in your area. You can search by city and state or zip code to see a list of local organizations with contact information, office hours, and types of help offered, such as non-English language support, Medicaid or CHIP, and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). These organizations are able to assist you in finding the kind of help that works for you.

    Library staff cannot assist customers in completing the application or enrollment process, but can provide technology assistance in using the library’s public computers and printers. Librarians can also make referrals to local agencies with trained application assisters.

    Shepherd's Center of KC Central, at 5200 Oak Street (816-444-1121) and 3501 Campbell (816-753-7039), will have on-site experts who will help people sign up online. Call to make an appointment.

    Additional Resources

    Read the complete text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    For information about how the Marketplace affects Medicare & Medicaid, see the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

    For information about the reforms taking effect, the following websites have comprehensive information pages:

    About the Law – U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    Affordable Care Act – Medicaid.gov
    Affordable Care Act – United States Department of Labor
    Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions – Internal Revenue Service
    Health Care Law Fact Sheets – AARP

    The National Network of Libraries of Medicine maintains a list of links to organizations that have good information resources about ACA:

    Affordable Care Act (ACA) Resources