If you do not have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying health coverage, the Marketplace can help you get covered. Insurance plan costs are based on your income and many will be able to find plans for under $100 a month with available income-based tax credits.
If you have Medicare coverage, you are not eligible to use the Marketplace to buy a health or dental plan. See Medicare open enrollment information further down in this article.
There has been a lot of confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act and the Marketplace. Despite the confusion and misinformation, the Marketplace (HealthCare.gov) is alive and well, but there is a shortened open enrollment period this year.
As a patient-centered nonprofit organization, MSU is committed to providing our members, Myositis patients and caregivers, and rare disease patients in general, with the education needed to ensure they have the insurance resources they need; insurance that covers pre-existing conditions and often-expensive medications. We are providing this information so that you don’t miss your opportunity to obtain or renew your health insurance through the marketplace before open enrollment ends on December 15, 2017.
Window Shop Insurance Plans today
While open enrollment is still a few days away, November 1st, you can go on right now and window shop plans and pricing for 2018. Plans purchased during open enrollment will be effective January 2018.
Helpful Marketplace Tips
Below are some helpful facts, from various sources, that we hope will encourage you to make the most of the shortened enrollment period and visit the Marketplace to either purchase or renew your Health Insurance for 2018.
- 8 in 10 people looking for health insurance on the marketplace qualify for financial assistance.
- Many will be able to find a plan with premiums costing less than $100 dollars each month.
- While the open enrollment period doesn’t begin until November 1st, you can go online today and window shop available plans.
- And as a reminder, these marketplace plans must cover certain essential health benefits, and they must also cover anyone with a pre-existing condition. These plans carry no annual or lifetime limits, either. The essential benefits included in these plans cover things like doctor visits, trips to the ER, hospital stays, maternity coverage, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs and more.
- When looking at plans, look at the monthly premium and the estimated amount you would have to pay out of pocket over the year. Sometimes paying a higher premium is worth it when you calculate it out.
Here are some quick tips about getting started with the Marketplace.
How can I get help with enrollment?
Free and confidential assistance is available to answer questions and get help with enrollment:
- Need help enrolling? You can make an appointment to work with an expert at: https://connector.getcoveredamerica.org
- You can also call 1-800-318-2596 or visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to find in-person assistance. Assistance is available in English and Spanish.
Schedule yourself time to enroll
This process can take some time while you compare plans, look up doctors and medications and view coverage amounts, so you may want to schedule some time for yourself to do this over a couple of days.
Per announcements we have seen and heard, Sundays may NOT be the best days to use the Marketplace website, HealthCare.gov, because it may be unavailable for 12 hours each Sunday for routine maintenance.
Share Open Enrollment with others
Help spread the word to make sure you, your family members and your friends get covered in time. If you or someone you know doesn’t have health insurance, we encourage you to visit HealthCare.Gov
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Do not mistake the Marketplace Open Enrollment with Medicare Open Enrollment.
- Marketplace Open Enrollment: November 1 – December 15
- Medicare Open Enrollment: October 15 – December 7
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Open Enrollment on Healthcare.gov—which is used by most states—allows consumers to look for plans, shop side-by-side and purchase a plan for coverage starting on January 1, 2018. On Healthcare.gov, open enrollment runs from November 1 to December 15, but some state-based marketplaces have different deadlines. Below find the state-based marketplaces, and their deadlines. Also, please check with your state for additional information.
California – January 31, 2018
Colorado – January 12, 2018
Connecticut – December 22, 2017
District of Columbia – January 31, 2018
Massachusetts – January 23, 2018
Minnesota – January 14, 2018
New York – January 31, 2018
Rhode Island – December 31, 2017
Washington – January 15, 2018
As people living with a disability, many of us with Myositis may have Medicare for our health and prescription insurance. Open Enrollment for Medicare is currently taking place and below are some helpful tips.
What and when is the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?
The Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year. Changes can include things like cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are considered in network. October 15th to December 7th is when anyone with Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs.
How do I know if I need to change plans?
People in a Medicare health or prescription drug plan should always review the materials their plans send them, like the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC). If their plan is changing, they should see if the plan will still meet their needs for the following year. If no changes need to be made, there is nothing to be done. They will be automatically enrolled in the same plan.
Where can I find Medicare plan information and compare plans?
You can call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit Medicare.gov.
MSU is not affiliated with any sources contained in this article. This is for informational purposes only.