Archive for November, 2014

Avoid the Fine

November 26, 2014

Having quality, affordable health insurance can provide peace of mind and financial security to you and your family. And with financial help available, health insurance is more affordable than ever before.

Unfortunately, many folks may not know this: You might have to pay a fine if you don’t have health insurance.

The fine is $325 per adult ($162.50 per child) or 2% of your household income that’s above the tax filing limit — whichever is more.

But what does that mean? Let’s do a little math.

Let’s say a household contains 2 married adults and has an income of $55,000 per year.

Household income: $55,000

Tax filing limit: $20,600

$55,000 – $20,600 = $34,400 of income is subject to the fine.

2% x $34,400 = $688

This family would pay a $688 fine for not having health insurance.

Let’s say a household contains 2 married adults and 2 children, and has an income $55,000 per year.

$325 x 2 adults = $650

$162.50 x 2 children = $325

$650 + $325 = $975.

This family would pay a $975 fine for not having health insurance. 

Not everyone without coverage will have to pay the fine. Read more about exemptions from the fine here.

Find out what financial help you could qualify for today.

See what you could qualify for!




Get help getting covered while you get help finding a job!

November 25, 2014

Do you need health insurance or want better coverage? Get ready to get covered at a Michigan Works! office near your. A Certified Application Counselor will be on hand to assist you and answer your questions. While you are there, check out their career counseling services and job listings at the following locations:

Mondays, 12pm – 4pm

Michigan Works!
22180 Parklawn St
Oak Park, MI 48327

Tuesdays, 12pm – 4pm

Michigan Works!
1850 N Perry St
Pontiac, MI 48340

Thursdays, 12pm – 4pm

Michigan Works!
713 E Nine Mile Rd
Ferndale, MI 48220

Michigan Works!
21030 Indian St
Southfield, MI 48033

 




Changing Plans? Here’s a Tip:

November 21, 2014

If you’re in the market for a different health insurance plan, here are a couple of steps you can take to make the process easier:

  1. Call the insurance company you’re leaving, and make sure they know you’re not staying in your plan.
  2. If you have an automatic monthly payment set up with your old plan, don’t forget to cancel it once your new plan goes into effect.

These simple steps can help you avoid confusion as you switch to a new plan.

Are you ready to start shopping?

See what you could qualify for!




New Online Tools Enhance Consumers’ Health Insurance Marketplace Shopping Experience

November 20, 2014

Local in-person guidance to help Arizonans #GetCovered is just a few computer or mobile phone clicks away

PHOENIX, AZ – Imagine being able to get an appointment to help you understand your health coverage options as easily as scheduling time for an oil change or checking the latest show times for a movie you want to see.

That is now a reality, as a new web- and smart phone-accessible tool designed to simplify the health coverage shopping experience is live and ready to use.

The Get Covered Connector, introduced this month as a way for consumers to find free, professional assistance to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace or Medicaid (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS), is simple to use, requiring only three fields of information to search for local appointment times and locations.

While people can apply for coverage on their own at HealthCare.gov, a survey conducted by Enroll America found consumers were twice as likely to complete the application process if they had help. The Connector is frequently updated, currently offering nearly 12,000 appointments for enrollment assistance statewide.

“The Connector was developed to cut the number of steps it takes for people to explore health plans, choose one and enroll,” said Cheryl O’Donnell, Arizona state director for the Get Covered America campaign. “With an increased number of plans now on the marketplace in Arizona, the process can seem daunting for applicants, especially those who have never had to shop for coverage before. The Get Covered Connector will make it possible to quickly and easily book a time for in-person help that is convenient for them, without having to make multiple inquiries on their own to find someone close to home.”

Arizonans who do not have Internet access or do not use a computer can book a time for assistance by calling 211, where operators use the Connector to secure appointments for clients.

Additionally, the Get Covered Calculator is updated with current data for the second Open Enrollment period (OE2). Consumers enter their zip code, income, number and age of dependents and the calculator will give them a monthly range of how much they might pay for their premiums, once financial assistance has been applied. Most Arizonans are likely to qualify, as 77% of Arizonans who bought a plan on the Marketplace during the first open enrollment period early this year received financial help.

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BEAT OHIO: Interstate Rivalry Triggers “Calls for Coverage” Competition Between Get Covered America Teams Ohio and Michigan

 

Two Get Covered America chapters to compete over the number of consumers contacted and educated during Ohio State-Michigan week

ANN ARBOR, MI— There are few college football rivalries as heated as that between Ohio State University and the University of Michigan. Known simply as “The Game,” this annual football game – which is being held for the 111th time this year – was rated as the greatest North American rivalry by ESPN, trumping Ali/Frazier, Lakers/Celtics, and Red Sox/Yankees. On Saturday, November 29, the two college’s football teams will take the field to decide who can lay claim to the Michigan/Ohio border for the coming year.

On Monday, November 24, the Get Covered America campaign teams in Ohio and Michigan will get in on the action by competing to see which state chapter can contact the most consumers with important information about enrolling in health coverage. While the Get Covered America teams in Ohio and Michigan are on the same team in terms of educating consumers and connecting them to coverage, the competitive streak between the two states has triggered a challenge that is being dubbed the ‘Calls for Coverage’ competition.

As part of this competition, the Get Covered America Michigan team will be hosting a special phone bank on Monday, November 24 between 1:00pm-5:00pm at ACCESS (6450 Maple St., Dearborn, MI 48126). Staff and volunteers will show their state pride by connecting more Michigan to information and resources on the Affordable Care Act than their Ohio counterparts. Interested volunteers who want to join the phone bank to Beat Ohio can sign up here: https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/events/rsvp/4vdz4/

“We couldn’t think of a better way to kick off Ohio State-Michigan week than by challenging our counterparts in that state up north to a friendly ‘Calls for Coverage’ competition,” said Get Covered America Ohio Organizing Director Chris Keck, an alumnus of The Ohio State University. “While we fully expect to win, we’re happy that Ohioans and Michiganders will get the information they need to get covered and stay covered this enrollment period.”

“The Get Covered America team in The Great Lakes State happily accepts this challenge from our friends to the south,” said Get Covered America Michigan Organizing Director Kevin Lane, a University of Michigan alumnus. “Team Michigan will mobilize our dedicated staff and volunteers in an all-hands-on-deck approach to educate more consumers with the facts about their new coverage options than our counterparts in Ohio. There’s no doubt that we’ll win, but access to health coverage is critical regardless of what state you live in. We’re going to make sure the uninsured in both states will get the information they need in order to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families.”

 Open enrollment of the Health Insurance Marketplace began November 15, 2014 and runs through February 15, 2015. Michiganders now have the opportunity to enroll in quality, affordable health coverage or renew their coverage if they already signed up on the Marketplace. December 15 is the deadline to enroll for coverage starting January 1, 2015. Most Michiganders are eligible for financial assistance to help pay for their premiums. In fact, 87% of Michiganders who signed up during the first open enrollment received financial assistance to do so.

 This year, consumers are also seeing more competition in the Marketplace – an estimated 25% increase in the number of companies offering plans nationwide, including four more insurers in Michigan. With more insurers and plans added, in-person assistance is even more important to help consumers understand all of their options and find the plan that is right for their needs and their budget. To find where you can get local enrollment assistance and schedule an appointment you can visit the Get Covered Connector: https://connector.getcoveredamerica.org/widget/.

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BEAT MICHIGAN: Interstate Rivalry Triggers “Calls for Coverage” Competition Between Get Covered America Teams Ohio and Michigan

COLUMBUS, OHIO ​— There are few college football rivalries as heated as that between The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan. Known simply as “The Game,” this annual football game – which is being held for the 111th time this year – was rated as the greatest North American rivalry by ESPN, trumping Ali/Frazier, Lakers/Celtics, and Red Sox/Yankees. On Saturday, November 29, the two college’s football teams will take the field to decide who can lay claim to the Michigan/Ohio border for the coming year.

On Monday, November 24, the Get Covered America campaign teams in Ohio and Michigan will get in on the action by competing to see which state chapter can contact the most consumers with important information about enrolling in health coverage. While the Get Covered America teams in Ohio and Michigan are on the same team in terms of educating consumers and connecting them to coverage, the competitive streak between the two states has triggered a challenge that is being dubbed the ‘Calls for Coverage’ competition.

As part of this competition, the Get Covered America Columbus team will be hosting a phone bank Monday, November 24 between 4:00pm-8:00pm at the Rambling House (310 E Hudson St Columbus, OH 43202). Staff and volunteers will show their Buckeye Pride by connecting more Ohioans to information and resources on the Affordable Care Act than their Michigan counterparts. Interested volunteers who want to join the phone bank to Beat Michigan can sign up here:https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/events/rsvp/4vdz4/

“We couldn’t think of a better way to kick off Ohio State-Michigan week than by challenging our counterparts in that state up north to a friendly ‘Calls for Coverage’ competition,” said Get Covered America Ohio Organizing Director Chris Keck, an alumnus of The Ohio State University. “While we fully expect to win, we’re happy that Ohioans and Michiganders will get the information they need to get covered and stay covered this enrollment period.”

“The Get Covered America team in The Great Lakes State happily accepts this challenge from our friends to the south,” said Get Covered America Michigan Organizing Director Kevin Lane, a University of Michigan alumnus. “Team Michigan will mobilize our dedicated staff and volunteers in an all-hands-on-deck approach to educate more consumers with the facts about their new coverage options than our counterparts in Ohio. There’s no doubt that we’ll win, but access to health coverage is critical regardless of what state you live in. We’re going to make sure the uninsured in both states will get the information they need in order to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families.”

Open enrollment of the Health Insurance Marketplace began November 15, 2014 and runs through February 15, 2015. Ohioans now have the opportunity to enroll in quality, affordable health coverage or renew their coverage if they already signed up on the Marketplace. December 15 is the deadline to enroll for coverage starting January 1, 2015. Most Ohioans are eligible for financial assistance to help pay for their premiums. In fact, 84% of Ohioans who signed up during the first open enrollment received financial assistance to do so.

This year, consumers are also seeing more competition in the Marketplace – an estimated 25% increase in the number of companies offering plans nationwide, including 5 more insurers in Ohio. With more insurers and plans added, in-person assistance is even more important to help consumers understand all of their options and find the plan that is right for their needs and their budget. To find where you can get local enrollment assistance and schedule an appointment you can visit the Get Covered Connector: https://connector.getcoveredamerica.org/widget/.




Making Health Insurance More Affordable

November 18, 2014

Millions of Americans have already signed up for health insurance with financial help — which helps them cover their monthly cost.

But many people don’t know this: Depending on your income, you might qualify for a health insurance plan with even lower out-of-pocket costs.

Out-of-pocket costs are the portion of health care costs you are responsible for, including your deductible, co-pay, and co-insurance.

If you qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs (sometimes called “cost sharing reductions”), you’ll see special Silver plans when you shop in the Marketplace. That means you could pay lower co-pays, lower deductibles, and lower co-insurance.

If you qualify, you might get a better deal with a Silver plan than with a Bronze plan. That’s why it’s important to weigh all your options. And if you’re stumped, no worries — in-person help is available.

See what you could qualify for!




Stay Covered: What Ohioans Who Got Covered Through Marketplace Should Know to Take Action and Renew Coverage

COLUMBUS, OHIO — With the Health Insurance Marketplace opening over the weekend, uninsured Ohioans now have the opportunity to enroll in quality, affordable health insurance. But along with the hundreds of thousands of people who stand to benefit from new coverage, there are over 154,000 Ohioans who enrolled through the Health Insurance Marketplace during the first enrollment period that should review their plan and decide if they want to make any changes for 2015.

That’s why the Get Covered America campaign in Ohio has been reaching out to both the uninsured and those who need to renew to relay a simple message: “Get covered. Stay covered.”

“With the Health Insurance Marketplace now open, Get Covered America is continuing to help the uninsured enroll for the first time, but we also have to make sure that the over 154,000 Ohioans who already got insured through the Marketplace are able to easily renew their coverage,” said Trey Daly State Director for the Get Covered America campaign. “It is critically important that anyone who got coverage during the first enrollment period review their options and update their information to ensure they enroll in the best plan for them and are receiving the correct amount of financial assistance to pay for their plan. The good news is that for most Ohioans, this will be an easier process that allows them to make the best decision for their needs and budget.”

Here’s what every Ohioan who got covered through the Marketplace needs to do to make sure they #StayCovered:

1. Update your marketplace account. By updating your personal and financial information, you can ensure you continue to receive the proper amount of the financial assistance that already makes 84% of Ohioan’s plan more affordable. Changes in your family – like the birth of a child, a marriage, a change in address, or other life-changing events – may also affect your financial assistance, so it’s important to keep all your personal information up-to-date.

2. Shop around and see what plans are available. The plans in your area may have changed, and there may now be a plan that better fits your needs and budget. In fact, the Marketplace estimates that there will be a 25% increase in the number of companies offering plans on the Marketplace nationwide, meaning you could find a more affordable plan, one that includes more of your doctors, or one that covers more services.

3. Lastly, pick a plan that’s right for you and your family! If your current plan is the best option, you can renew it. But if you find a better option to cover your needs, you can change your plan.

It’s also important to remember that for the smoothest transition to coverage, Ohioans should take action by December 15 so you can start 2015 with the security and peace of mind of health insurance. You just need to update your information, not start a whole new application, so the process will be easy for most Ohioans.

If you want to talk with an expert about your options or need help with your renewal, there is free, in-person enrollment help available right in your community. These are people certified to sit down with you, walk you through your options, and help you make the best coverage decision. You can find these assisters by visiting Get Covered America’s Get Covered Connector tool, entering your ZIP code, and locating someone near you.

Finally, Ohioans should remember that if they aren’t covered in 2015, they may have to pay a fine of at least $325.

In the coming weeks and months, the Get Covered America campaign will continue doing everything possible to reach the remaining uninsured while making sure the newly insured keep the peace of mind that comes with affordable coverage for the coming year.

Open enrollment runs from November 15 to February 15. You can learn more about the Affordable Care Act, your coverage options, and how you can get covered atwww.getcoveredamerica.org.

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Got Health Coverage? Important Steps to Follow During Open Enrollment to #StayCovered

November 6, 2014

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With the opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace set for November 15, consumers will soon be able to set up an account, shop for and select a health coverage plan to meet their individual and family needs.

For those who have already purchased a policy, you may be able to continue using the same plan. However, you should be prepared to not only ensure your information is as detailed and up-to-date as possible in your Marketplace account, but also be ready to consider new options that will be available to consumers this year.

“We are mere days away from the beginning of open enrollment and are working diligently to get the word out to Arizona consumers who have a Marketplace plan that they should act quickly to ensure a seamless transition to the 2015 cycle,” said Cheryl O’Donnell, Arizona state director for Get Covered America. “Most who are now insured will have to do very little to stay covered, but some will need to take additional action; we recommend they do so as soon as the Marketplace opens.”

Follow these five steps by December 15 to ensure you get the best deal for your money:

1. Review your plan and consider whether it’s time to switch to something else. Each year, insurance companies change some plan benefits and costs, meaning you may find a better deal elsewhere on the Marketplace. Keep in mind your family’s needs and decide whether a different plan will work better for your situation.

2. Update and verify your income, family size and other relevant information by logging in to your Healthcare.gov account, even if nothing has changed. You may qualify for a different financial assistance amount based on the cost of your plan for 2015. Additionally, because of this year’s Heartbleed virus, your password will need to be reset before you can make changes and start shopping.

3. Compare costs of new or existing plans. In Arizona, consumers have already received notice if they need to take action to switch their plans, as some of the less popular ones will be replaced with others. Arizonans will have ample opportunity to review once the Marketplace opens in two weeks.

4. Choose a health plan for 2015. Once November 15 rolls around, consumers can pick a new plan or keep the same one, provided it is still offered.

5. Enroll in that plan and be sure to continue making payments. #StayCovered by contacting your provider to confirm enrollment, particularly if you switched companies.

More than 120,000 Arizonans purchased a health plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace, while another 220,000+ and counting now have Medicaid through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

For consumers who are unable to make changes online, they can reach the Health Insurance Marketplace by calling 1-800-318-2596.




Lucie Got Covered for $15.10 a Month!

November 4, 2014

Lucie in Texas hadn’t had health insurance in over a decade.

That’s why she was so glad when Obamacare came around. She signed up for a Silver plan that’s just $15.10 a month with financial help (which saves her about $215 a month!). And she got dental coverage for an extra $19 a month.

Not too shabby!

Now, Lucie can get the quality care she needs for her high blood pressure. And she doesn’t have to worry about medical bills piling up

Wondering if you could get help paying for your health insurance? Go ahead — see for yourself!

See what you could qualify for!




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