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Affordable Care Act Highlights

Questions? Call 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)

Open enrollment starts October 1, 2013 and ends March 31, 2014. Plans and prices will be available then. Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014.

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
The Marketplace (or “exchange”) is a new way to find health coverage that fits your budget and meets your needs. With one application, you can see all your options and enroll. When you use the Health Insurance Marketplace, you'll fill out an application and see all of the health plans available in your area. You'll find out if you can get lower costs on your monthly premiums for private insurance plans. You'll learn if you qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs. The Marketplace will also tell you if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage available through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

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, quality, and other features important to you before you make a choice.

Apply online, by mail, or in-person:
You can apply for Marketplace coverage three ways: online, by mail, or in-person with the help of a Navigator or other qualified helper. Telephone help and online chat will be available 24/7 to help you complete your application.

Enrollment requirements:
  1. Must live in the United States
  2. Must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present)
  3. Can't be currently incarcerated
Compare options in the Health Insurance Marketplace:
Insurance plans in the Marketplace are offered by private companies, and 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.

The Marketplace in Nebraska:
Nebraska’s market place is run by the federal government. You'll get health coverage through this website:

Marketplace Application Checklist
When you apply for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace, you’ll need to provide:
  1. Social Security Numbers (or document numbers for legal immigrants)
  2. Employer and income information for every member of your household who needs coverage (for example, from pay stubs or W-2 forms—Wage and Tax Statements)
  3. Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household
  4. A completed Employer Coverage Tool for every job-based plan you or someone in your household is eligible for. (You’ll need to fill out this form even for coverage you’re eligible for but don’t enroll in). Form OMB No. 0938-1191
What are the different Consumer Assistance Roles? (see
Navigators will have a vital role in helping consumers prepare electronic and paper applications to establish eligibility and enroll in coverage through the Marketplace. This includes steps to help consumers find out if they qualify for insurance affordability programs (including a premium tax credit, cost sharing reductions, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program), and if they’re eligible, to get enrolled. Navigators will also provide outreach and education to consumers to raise awareness about the Marketplace, and will refer consumers to ombudsmen and other consumer assistance programs when necessary. Navigators can play a role in all types of marketplaces. They’ll be funded through state and federal grant programs, and must complete comprehensive training.
Certified Application Counselors:
The Federally-facilitated Marketplace will designate organizations to certify application counselors who perform many of the same functions as Navigators including educating consumers and helping them complete an application for coverage. An online application will be available at the end of July 2013 for organizations who want to become Marketplace-designated organizations that can certify application counselors. These groups might include community health centers or other health care providers, hospitals, or social service agencies.
Community Action of Nebraska to provide Navigator services

Companies offering health insurance in Nebraska through the health insurance marketplace:
1. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska,
2. Coventry Health Care of Bethesda, Md.
3. CoOportunity
4. Health Alliance Midwest Inc.

Information on plan options from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:

Information from American Library Association includes an outline on ACA, the role of Libraries and a list of resources:

Informational Events for the public regarding the Affordable Care Act enrollment:

NCompass Live: "Affordable Care Act Resources for Libraries", on Wednesday, September 4, 2013,10:00am - 11:00am CT. (Archived so it is available for viewing at your convenience.)
Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian at the Nebraska Library Commission, provides updates to new ACA information websites, organizations, and materials to help you, your library, and your patrons continue to prepare for this event.

This page is based in part on information compiled by Katie M. at Bennett Martin Public Library, and is believed to be accurate as of September 1, 2013. Lincoln City Libraries is not responsible for the content of external sites linked to its Web site. Information from Internet sites is not a substitute for professional advice.