from The Arc blog
If you are uninsured or looking for affordable health insurance, now is the time for you to look! During “open enrollment” you can purchase private health insurance through the marketplace in each state. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for assistance with your health insurance costs.
If you currently have insurance through the marketplace, you should look at your current plan and determine if it will continue to meet your needs, or select a better plan. If you do not take action, you will be automatically re-enrolled in your current plan or a similar plan. You should carefully review all health insurance notices and updates. Re-enrollment provides an important opportunity to report any changes to your income. If you income has increased, reporting changes to the marketplace may help you avoid paying future penalties.
2017 Open Enrollment
November 1, 2016
Open enrollment begins
December 15, 2016
Enroll before this date to have coverage January 1, 2017
January 31, 2017
Open enrollment ends
Why you should check your coverage:
- Even if you like your health plan, new plans may be available and premiums or cost sharing may have changed since last year.
- Even if your income has not changed, you could be eligible for more financial assistance.
If you have a disability or a health condition, pay attention to possible changes:
- Are a broad range of health care providers included in the health plan’s network of providers?
- Are there enough medical specialists in the network to meet your needs?
- Are needed medications included in the plan’s list of covered drugs?
- Is there adequate access to non-clinical, disability-specific services and supports?
- Does the plan have service limits, such as caps on the number of office visits for therapy services?
- Are mental health services covered to the same extent that other “physical” health benefits are covered?
Where to get help?
Health insurance can be complicated. If you or your family member needs assistance with understanding the options, healthcare.gov can help. This website has information about seeking assistance in local communities, explanations of health insurance terms, enrollment information and much more. There is also a 24-hour phone line for consumer assistance at 1-800-318-2596 to call for help.