The Affordable Care Act

Alternative Care Act information compiled by the Salt Lake City Public Library

Under the Affordable Care Act, open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace began October 1, 2013 and runs through March 31, 2014. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2014. After the close of open enrollment on March 31, 2014, it will not be possible to obtain health coverage through the Marketplace until the next annual enrollment period unless you have a life changing event (divorce, death of spouse, etc). Visit HealthCare.gov to find all the information you need to complete your application during open enrollment.


The Health Insurance Marketplace


The new online Health Insurance Marketplace provides Utah residents who currently don’t have insurance, or are looking for a better deal, a new way to compare qualified health plans, get answers to questions, find out if they are eligible for health programs like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and ultimately enroll in health coverage.

332,970 Utahns (14% of Utah’s population) are currently uninsured and may be eligible or qualify for tax credits to purchase private insurance coverage in the Marketplace.

You can use this checklist to start gathering the required information to complete your application:

  • Social Security Numbers (or legal documentation numbers)

  • Basic employer and income information for every member of your household who will need coverage, such as W-2s, current pay stubs, or tax returns

  • Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household

  • A completed Employer Coverage Tool (see Page 2 of the checklist link above) for every job-based plan you or someone in your household is eligible for, including coverage you’re eligible for but don’t currently enroll in


    How to Apply


    You can complete your Health Insurance Marketplace Application in one of three ways: online, by mail, or in-person. Telephone Help and Online Chat are available 24/7 to help you with your application. Downloadable and paper applications will be available on the Health Insurance Marketplace website from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.


    Do I Qualify for Medicaid?


    Utah has chosen not to expand its Medicaid program at this time. Even so, if you feel you may qualify for Medicaid, you should apply for coverage to see if you qualify. Utah has existing Medicaid coverage options that could work for you—particularly if you have children, are pregnant, or have a disability.

    You can can find out whether you qualify for Medicaid under Utah’s current rules by contacting Utah's Medicaid office. You can also apply by filling out an application in the online Health Insurance Marketplace or by contacting the call center.


    What's the Penalty for not Having Health Insurance?


    The tax penalties go into effect in 2014, which means if you’re uninsured for more than three months in 2014, you may incur the tax penalty and that penalty would be applied when you file your 2014 income tax return.

    If you don’t qualify for an exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to purchase qualifying health coverage, then you will be subject to a tax penalty.


    How to Get Additional Help Completing Your Application


    Need additional help enrolling? Community Health Centers will provide assistance to those needing help in enrolling and selecting a plan.


    Small Business Help


    Looking for guidance as a Small Business Owner? In Utah, the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) for small businesses and their employees is Avenue H. Instead of HealthCare.gov, you’ll use the Avenue H website to apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll. Visit Avenue H now to apply.