Q) Why did I receive this notice?

A) The University of Alabama is required by federal law to send all UA employees a Health Insurance Marketplace Notice by Oct. 1, 2013. Additionally, all new hires are required to receive a copy of the notice within 14 days of their hire date. The notice will inform employees of their right to forgo employer-sponsored coverage and buy a policy through the marketplace


Q) What should I do with the notice?

A) This notice is an informational mailing about the health insurance marketplace. No action is required if you already have the University’s health plan or are covered by other health insurance. If UA employees who are covered by the UA health plan think that insurance offered through the marketplace is a better option, they should visit HealthCare.gov for more information. The University will not advise employees on the topic of purchasing insurance from the marketplace. It is the employee’s responsibility to contact the marketplace for more information.


Q) What is the Health Insurance Exchange?

A) The official term when talking about Americans using a health insurance exchange is “health insurance marketplace.” This marketplace offers government-regulated, standardized plans and is designed to be the main venue for individuals and small business owners to find and obtain affordable healthcare coverage.


Q) Am I required to enroll in a plan offered through the exchange? 

A) Most UA employees will not be impacted by the implementation of the marketplace. If you are currently covered by the UA heath plan or by other insurance, you are not required to enroll in a plan offered through the exchange.


Q) How do I know if I am currently eligible for UA benefits? 

A) All regular full-time and regular part-time employees are eligible for benefits. If you have further questions please call the HR Service Center at 205-348-7732. A) If you do not have UA coverage you can enroll in one of the plans offered in the exchange. To obtain more information or to enroll in a plan offered through the marketplace go to HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Q) Who is required to buy health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

A) To learn more about who will be required to buy coverage under the ACA and what the penalties will be for not having coverage, visit http://kff.org/infographic/the-requirement-to-buy-coverage-under-the-affordable-care-act/.


Q) What is a minimum-value plan? 

A) A plan that covers at least 60% of the total cost of medical services.


Q) Can I get a tax credit? 

A) Some employees of the University will be eligible for a tax credit. Employees may receive the tax credit if they choose to purchase insurance from the exchange and have an income less than 400% of the poverty level.


Q) Can I apply for coverage through the marketplace at any time?

A)  The initial open enrollment period for the marketplace is over but you can enroll if you have certain life changes like getting married, having a baby, losing other coverage, or if you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP. The open enrollment period for coverage starts November 1 of each year. Visit healthcare.gov to verify the last day to enroll in coverage.


Q) Can I get coverage for my dependents on the marketplace?

A) Yes, you can get coverage for your dependents through the marketplace. There will be a variety of plans and options available.


 Q) I’m not currently eligible for UA coverage, but I work more than 30 hours a week. When will UA offer me health insurance coverage?

A) According to ACA regulations, an individual who averages working at least 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month after a twelve month measurement period will be eligible for UA health insurance beginning Jan. 1, 2015. The University will track hours worked for those employees who are currently not eligible for the UA health plan. Those ineligible employees who subsequently become eligible after a measurement period will be given the opportunity to enroll in a high deductible health plan.


Q) What is the new UA high deductible health plan?

A) Employees currently not eligible for UA health insurance, who subsequently become eligible as described above, will be given the opportunity to enroll in a high deductible health plan.  The high deductible plan will be offered only to this group of employees who were previously ineligible for the UA health plan. The plan will cover at least 60% of the cost of covered medical procedures. UA will not subsidize the premiums so employees will pay the full cost of the plan. 


Q) I have family coverage, why is single coverage the benchmark to determine affordability?

A) Single coverage is the benchmark that the government put forward in the new healthcare law.


Q) If I elect marketplace coverage and decide I would like UA coverage, when can I enroll in UA coverage?

A) The only time that an employee can enroll in UA coverage is during open enrollment or after a qualifying life event. Open enrollment typically runs from November 1-15 each year. Plan coverage will become effective January 1 of the following year.


Q) Who can I contact to learn more about the state health insurance marketplace?

A) If any employee would like more information about the marketplace they can go online to Healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Employees may also visit the HealthCare.gov Facebook page at facebook.com/healthcare.gov or follow @healthcare.gov on Twitter for timely reminders and updates.