The landscape of Alabama’s health insurance has many avenues to choose from for individuals and families to purchase healthcare benefits. Alabamians who have no access to employer-sponsored health coverage may shop in the private marketplace or through the federally facilitated exchange through healthcare.gov are offered in the state. For those that are eligible, public health plans like CHIP and Medicaid can be applied for.
For 2017 the only health insurance carrier offering plans in Alabama is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and will continue through 2018. Bright Health is joining the Alabama marketplace, only in the Birmingham metropolitan area where they will now have 2 choices. BCBS of Alabama insured the majority even prior to 2016 when multiple insurance carriers were available.
Affordable Care Act in Alabama
Alabama elected to join the federally facilitated exchange when the Affordable Care Act took effect and it required most Americans to purchase a health insurance coverage plan. Alabamians; when enrolled in the ACA compliant healthcare plans, they may apply for income-based financial assistance. This can help lower monthly premiums for health insurance and many out of pocket expenses that come with healthcare. Income-based tax credits, as well as cost-sharing subsidies, are available through the marketplace plans. Those individuals and families who don’t qualify for any financial assistance may choose to shop in the private marketplace for access to a variety of plan options and different provider networks.
The “SHOP – Small Business Health Options Program” which provides employers with 50 or less full-time employees a way to offer healthcare insurance benefits.
Alabama Medicaid expansion
Many of the states expanded Medicaid to low-income adults in the ACA, Obamacare’s Affordable Care Act when it took effect yet Alabama has not. Residents of Alabama must meet certain eligibility criteria set by the state of Alabama to apply for Medicaid. Information on this can be found at Medicaid.alabama.gov.
This provides low-cost health insurance for all kids that are eligible for Alabama’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, CHIP.
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