Congratulations! I’m sharing some info from my Obama alumni association:
Open enrollment for affordable health coverage has started – go to HealthCare.gov to sign up. You must sign up by December 15. Coverage could be more affordable than you think. 8 out of 10 people can find a plan for under $75.
- There are big changes this year.
- The enrollment period is half as long as in previous years and there’s only one deadline, so you must take action by December 15 or risk not having coverage in 2018 and having to pay a penalty.
- The administration has made other changes which will make it harder for people to get the information they need to get and stay covered.
- In person assistance funding has been cut by 40% and advertising has been cut by 90%. HHS regional staff have even been told they cannot help get the word out about Open Enrollment.
That means it’s up to all of us to get the facts out. Here’s what we need people to know:
You must take action to sign up for coverage by December 15 for 2018 coverage, and because of financial help, most people can find a plan for $50 to $100 per month.
There is a lot of confusion that we need to cut through. The best way to do that is to talk about the facts.
For the uninsured, that means making sure people know that coverage is more affordable than they think.
- You can even apply on your smart-phone. It only takes about 10 minutes to submit an application.
- An Out of Pocket Cost estimator will help you estimate your total costs for the year including premiums, deductibles, and co-pays.
- There are Doctor and Prescription Drug Lookup tools so you can find out which plans cover your doctors and prescriptions.
For those who already have coverage through HealthCare.gov, they need to know that they should come back and shop because plans and prices change every year and there might be a more affordable plan that meets their needs.
- Did your job, family, or health status change? You should come back to HealthCare.gov to shop and make sure you’re enrolled in right plan.
- It pays to shop – when you’re buying a car you shop around–you should do the same with health insurance.
- Even if none of your information has changed, you may still be able to get a better deal. Marketplace consumers have the option to switch plans annually. This means that during Open Enrollment you can check to see if there is a plan offered this year that saves you more money, offers you more services, or includes more doctors
5 Facts About Signing Up For Coverage at HealthCare.gov
#1: Sign up by December 15. Open Enrollment starts on November 1 but you must take action by December 15, no matter if this is your first time getting covered or if you are returning to shop and save. Beat the rush and sign up early.
#2: Coverage could be cheaper than you think. Last year, 8 in 10 people qualified for financial help to make their monthly premiums more affordable. In fact, most people found plans available between $50 to $100 per month.
#3: Shop and save. If you had coverage through HealthCare.gov for 2017, you should come back to update your information and compare your options for 2018. Every year, plans and prices change, you could save money by switching to a new plan that still meets your needs.
#4: Those who choose to go without health insurance may have to pay a penalty. There is a minimum penalty of $695 for not having health insurance.
#5: Free help is available. If you have questions about signing up or want to talk through your options with a trained professional, free help is just a call or quick away. Call 1-800-318-2596, visit localhelp.healthcare.gov or make a one-on-one appointment now.