The Health Insurance Marketplace for Transitioning Veterans
Now that you’re leaving the military and re-entering civilian life, there are all sorts of things you’ll need to take care of. One of the most important is health insurance. Your civilian employer may offer you and your family a plan that fits your needs, but if not — or if you’re unemployed or self employed — you’re still legally required to get health insurance, or pay a fee with your federal tax return. While you were in the military, TRICARE may have been your only option for health coverage, which is considered covered under the healthcare law. Now that you’re transitioning, you have other options for coverage. You can find out about other options, apply, and enroll through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The simplest and fastest way to take care of your health insurance needs is online — either through HealthCare.gov or your state’s website if your state runs its own Marketplace. By completing one Marketplace application, you’ll see all the programs and savings you’re eligible for. Depending on your household size and income, you may be able to get lower costs on monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs in a Marketplace plan. Or you may qualify for free or low-cost coverage. Any plan purchased through the Marketplace is required by law to provide what are called essential health benefits . They include everything from annual checkups to maternity care to emergency care. Some types of plans allow you to see almost any doctor or health care facility. Others limit your choices to a network of doctors and facilities, or require you to pay more if you use providers outside the network. If staying with your current doctor is important to you, make sure they’re included in the plan’s provider directory before enrolling. Call the plan or the provider to be sure. Once you’ve enrolled in the plan that’s best for you, you must pay your first premium before your coverage begins. Follow the instructions from your insurer about how and when to make your premium payment. You’ve served your country for years. You don’t need to leave service only to inherit a lot of unexpected headaches. That’s why we’re committed to helping you understand your options for health coverage. To get started, visit HealthCare.gov/veterans, or call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. You may also be able to find people and organizations in your community who can meet with you in-person and help answer your questions. Information is available at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov. And we would like to say: Thank you for your service.