Open Enrollment- Shop for New Coverage!
By Melissa Stockwell-Gregson
Outreach and Enrollment Specialist
Open Enrollment for the 2017 year is fast approaching. Open Enrollment will begin this year on November 1, 2016 and ends on January 31, 2017. This is the only time of the year you can enroll in a new health plan or make changes to your current policy without having special circumstances (marriage, death, birth of a baby, gaining citizenship, or moving).
Important Dates to remember as we go through Open Enrollment:
The Community Health Center has a team of Certified Application Counselors (CAC) to help you through the enrollment process. Our CACs will explain the entire enrollment process to include: creating a Marketplace account (healthcare.gov), completing an application, comparing Qualified Health Plans, and enrolling you in the plan of your choice. We are here to help at no cost to you.
Important information our CACs want you to keep in mind:
- If you currently are enrolled in 2016 Marketplace coverage it is important you update your application. Policies will auto-renew for 2017 based on your 2016 application and it often results in higher monthly premiums. We can help you with these updates!
- If your health plan did not fit all of your needs this year, now is time to change plans. We can break down the health plans offered to you and help you compare the plans that would best fit you. This includes the doctors network and prescription coverage.
- When reviewing the Bronze, Silver and Gold Health Plan options, closely review the Silver Plans. If your income qualifies you for cost-sharing reductions, then you will only find these on silver plans. Often with cost-sharing, silver plans can be better than gold plans thanks to lower deductible and out of pocket maximums.
- If you do not have health coverage and you have a qualifying income, you will be responsible to pay the shared responsibility payment. This is also referred to as the penalty for the not having coverage
- Let us help you! Health insurance can be confusing, tiring, and frustrating- let us help you by walking you through the process beginning to end.