Medicare and the new online insurance marketplace

The federal government has stepped up its work to reassure seniors with Medicare that the new online health insurance marketplace will not impact their coverage, Kaiser Health News reports.

Across the country, states and the federal government are working to launch web-based health insurance marketplaces by Oct. 1 and begin enrolling millions of people into new health care options ushered in by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The marketplaces, also called exchanges, are considered key to helping people meet the new Obamacare mandate that most Americans have health insurance starting in 2014, or pay penalties.

But seniors and disabled individuals enrolled in Medicare Part A do not need to buy an insurance plan on the exchange because they already meet the mandate’s requirements.

In fact, it’s against the law for someone to sell them a marketplace plan to a senior while knowing they are covered by Medicare, according to the government.

Medicare’s open enrollment overlaps the enrollment period for the marketplace, but they are not connected. Medicare enrollment runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7,  versus the marketplace enrollment period of Oct.1, through March 31.

For details on reporting illegal practices, visit Medicare’s web site, where tips for preventing fraud can also be found.


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