One of our roles as a healthcare provider is to help make our community healthier by providing relevant information and education. Here are the key facts you need to know about the Affordable Care Act:
- The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance, effective January 1, 2014. The goal is to make coverage more accessible and affordable for people who don’t have health insurance or who have limited coverage.
- There are new, affordable insurance options available for people without insurance.
- All insurance plans have to cover doctor visits, hospitalizations, maternity care, emergency room care, and prescriptions.
- Financial help is available so it’s easier for people to find plans that fit their budgets.
- All insurance plans have to show the costs and what is covered in simple language with no fine print.
- Insurance plans can’t deny people for pre-existing conditions.
- Help is available online, by phone, and in person to help people find the plan that works best for them. Plus, there’s support for every language that’s spoken in the United States.
Open Enrollment is typically from mid-November through February. However, even when open enrollment for the year has ended, people may still have options to get health coverage through the Marketplace.
Here’s how you can still get coverage through the Marketplace or through Medicaid/CHIP even after Open Enrollment has ended.
- See if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period — If you do, then you can buy a private health plan through the Marketplace. You can also get coverage in special cases, including:
- Apply for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — you can do this any time, all year. If you qualify, you can enroll immediately.
- Small businesses can apply for SHOP coverage any time, all year.
- Members of federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native shareholders can enroll in Marketplace coverage any time of the year. There is no limited enrollment period for these groups, and they can change plans as often as once a month.
If none of these options work for you, be aware that the Open Enrollment period for the new year will begin in November. Of course, you can still purchase insurance from a private company or an individual representative at any time.
Important: If you don’t have minimum essential coverage, you must either pay a fee or have an exemption from paying the fee. For more information about the Affordable Care Act or about insurance obtained through the Marketplace, visit the website at www.HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.