Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?

The Health Insurance Marketplace, also referred to as the Health Insurance Exchange, is a new way to find health coverage. You can use the marketplace if you don't have coverage now or if you want to seek other health insurance options. Through the Marketplace online application, you can find out if you can lower your health insurance costs based on your income, compare coverage options and enroll.

What is the timeframe for when I need to enroll?

Enrollment in the marketplace will take place October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. Insurance coverage will begin on January 1, 2014 for those signed up between now and then.

What if I do not have insurance?

The Affordable Care Act includes a requirement that U.S. citizens be insured or pay a penalty. If you are uninsured, you will be required to obtain health insurance coverage by January 1, 2014. Individuals without insurance after March 31, 2014, may be charged a penalty. Learn more about the requirement to buy coverage.

What if I already have insurance?

If you already have insurance, you are not required to buy insurance through the marketplace. However, you may still use the marketplace to compare other options for lower costs and more coverage.

What is the Healthy Michigan Plan?

Healthy Michigan Plan is Michigan's new, expanded Medicaid program. The program offers very low-cost sharing requirements with comprehensive benefits. Individuals with income below $16,000 (and families of four making approximately $31,000) will likely qualify for the Healthy Michigan plan. You may apply for Healthy Michigan at any time after October 1, but coverage will not begin for several months (likely late in the first quarter of 2014.)

Isn't Medicaid already available to low-income residents?

While there is some assistance available to adults earning little to no income, most low-income residents do not qualify for Medicaid today. To qualify for Medicaid prior to expansion, individuals had to meet financial eligibility criteria and belong to one of the following specific groups: children, parents, pregnant women, people with severe disability and seniors.

How do I apply for the Healthy Michigan Plan?

You can apply for the Healthy Michigan plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace by visiting

How do I know which plan is right for me?

The Affordable Care Act establishes various coverage expansion options and understanding those options can be complicated. The Michigan Hospital Association(MHA) has developed a flowchart to provide a basic understanding of coverage options based on income. The flowchart outlines a scenario for patient John, assuming minimal complications and special circumstances.

Will Beaumont participate in all the plans offered through the marketplace?

Beaumont participates with most insurance plans. The lists below show the plans offered on the Marketplace separated by those Beaumont participates and those we do not. Please be sure to sign up for a Beaumont participating plan.

Beaumont participating Health Insurance Marketplace plans:

Blue Care Network of Michigan

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Health Alliance Plan

Humana Medical Plan of Michigan, Inc.

McLaren Health Plan

Meridian Health Plan of Michigan, Inc.

Molina Healthcare of Michigan

Priority Health

Priority Health Insurance Company

Total Health Care USA

United Healthcare Life Insurance Company

Beaumont does NOT participate in these plans offered on the Marketplace:

Alliance Health and Life Insurance Company

Consumers Mutual Insurance of Mich. (CO-OP)

Physicians Health Plan