FAQs and Helpful Info
I’m hearing a lot of confusing health insurance terms. What do they mean?
Here are the meanings of some common health insurance terms:
- Open Enrollment – The period of time that qualified individuals can enroll in a health insurance plan or switch to a new plan.
- Individual Health Insurance Marketplace – The Individual Health Insurance Marketplace, often called the “Marketplace” or “Exchange,” is a resource for individuals and families to shop for and enroll in a health insurance plan. It also provides information on programs that can help people pay for coverage.
- Out-of-pocket costs – Your total expenses for medical care that are not paid by your health insurance plan.
- Network – A group of doctors and hospitals that participate in a health insurance plan. Typically, you pay lower out-of-pocket costs if you go to doctors and hospitals that belong to your health insurance plan's network.
Why do I need health insurance?
- Most people in the US must have health coverage or pay a fee (also known as a fine or penalty). Learn more.
- Having health insurance and choosing a primary care doctor are the best ways to keep you and your family healthy.
Why does it matter which doctors and hospitals are part of my plan?
Not all health insurance plans include the doctors and hospitals you may want to get care from, so it's important to choose a plan that gives you access to the doctors and hospitals you prefer.
Choosing Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge gives you access to better care, and helps you keep your out-of-pocket costs down when you get care from us. We offer:
- Advanced care in multiple specialties including heart, cancer, neurology and orthopedics
- Connections to highly specialized care from experts at Levine Cancer Institute, Levine Children's Hospital, Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute and more
- The region's largest primary care network with more than 100 doctors and 30 locations
- Urgent Care and Express Care when you need to see a doctor sooner
- An electronic medical record that travels with you to simplify visits now and down the road
How do I buy a health insurance plan on the Marketplace?
You can buy an individual health insurance plan on the Individual Health Insurance Marketplace starting November 1, 2015. Buy a plan by December 17, 2015 for coverage to start January 1, 2016.
To buy a plan:
- Consider the healthcare needs of yourself and your family.
- Check to see if you qualify for savings on health coverage.
- Learn about your plan options. The information on this page can help you.
- Call Carolinas HealthCare System at 828-580-5040 with questions before you buy.
- Buy online at healthcare.gov, or contact an insurance broker or insurance carrier.
Do I qualify for savings on health coverage?
- Health coverage savings are based on many factors, including the size of your family and your estimated income for 2016.
- View the savings chart at healthcare.gov to see if you qualify.
How do I change my plan?
- You can switch to a new health insurance plan during the open enrollment period – November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016. If you want your coverage to start January 1, 2016, you will need to change your plan by December 17, 2015.
- Change your health insurance plan online at healthcare.gov, or contact an insurance broker or insurance carrier.