Rep. Jackson Lee released the following statement announcing that beginning today millions of Americans will have access to affordable, quality health insurance as new online Health Insurance Marketplaces open in every state, under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
"Starting today, the health care law will allow my constituents looking for coverage to purchase affordable, quality health insurance through the new online Marketplace. It is your health, made simple. This new online Marketplace provides a very simple way to get health insurance: insurance that will meet your needs, your lifestyle, and your budget at any income level.
"The new Marketplaces build on the last three years, during which Americans have already been seeing lower costs and better coverage because of the Affordable Care Act. Because of the Affordable Care Act, 105 million Americans have already received access to free preventive services, 6.6 million seniors have saved more than $7 billion on their prescription drugs, and more than 100 million Americans have benefited from no longer having a lifetime limit on their coverage.
"In the new online Marketplace, the constituents in my congressional district looking for coverage will be able to shop among affordable choices, explained in easy-to-understand language. It is estimated that substantially more than half of those shopping in the new Marketplace will qualify for discounts on their monthly premium, based on their income, which will make the premiums more affordable.
"In this new online Marketplace, there is no denial for pre-existing conditions, no annual or lifetime limits on coverage, and no higher rates for women compared to men. The open enrollment period for the first year of the Marketplaces runs from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. Enrollment is a six-month process and will build over time. For example, under the Massachusetts state health reform, three times as many people enrolled during the second half of the first year, as in the first half.
"The constituents in my congressional district looking for health coverage should go to www.healthcare.gov and by putting in their state and zip code, they will be able to see and compare plans and premiums in our part of the state. If constituents have questions about the Marketplace, they can call 1-800-318-2596, a toll-free hotline open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"The new online Marketplace will mean new peace of mind for many of my constituents. Many have been unable for years to obtain health insurance because of a pre-existing condition or because they couldn't find an affordable plan. The new Marketplaces across the country will mean brand-new health and economic security for millions of Americans and a healthier, more prosperous nation."