50 Days Until Open Enrollment: What every Ohioan Needs to Know to #GetCovered and #StayCovered!

September 25, 2014

With another school year starting and summer rolling into fall, there is another important date approaching: On Friday, September 26, it will be fifty days until the second open enrollment period through the Affordable Care Act begins. On November 15, uninsured or underinsured Ohioans will be able to enroll in quality, affordable health coverage or renew their plan if they already have one through the Marketplace.

During the first open enrollment period, over 154,000 Ohioans enrolled in private coverage and now enjoy the peace of mind that comes with protecting themselves and their families. In addition, over 367,000 Ohioans have enrolled in expanded Medicaid as of August. This coming open enrollment period is the next opportunity to take advantage of the new coverage options through the Affordable Care Act and find a plan that fits your needs and budget.

So here’s five things every Ohioan needs to know about open enrollment:

1. Open enrollment begins on November 15.

In the first open enrollment period 154,000 Ohioans enrolled in coverage through the Affordable Care Act. On November 15, enrollment is going to reopen again and run through February 15, 2015. During this time, uninsured Ohioans will be able to enter the Health Insurance Marketplace and select a plan that fits their needs and budget. You can also enroll right now if you’re uninsured and experience a life-changing event like the birth of a child, a marriage, or a move.

If you don’t have health insurance or need to renew your plan, November 15 is your chance to find a plan you can afford and that can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re protected. Low-income Ohioans who are eligible for Medicaid can enroll in coverage now, as enrollment through those programs is year-round.

2. 84% of Ohioans got financial help to make their plan more affordable!

For many Ohioans, affordability is a real concern in their health care decision-making. In the past, sky-rocketing health care costs have forced many to go without health insurance because they simply couldn’t afford it.

The good news is that financial assistance is available to help you pay for your plan – making it truly affordable. In fact, 84% of Ohioans received financial assistance to make their plan more affordable, and over 50% are now paying less than $100 per month. To find what you could qualify for through the Affordable Care Act, you can check out Get Covered America’s Calculator tool at www.getcoveredamerica.org/calculator.

3. In-person help is available to help you understand your options and enroll in a plan.

The enrollment process can be confusing for many, especially if you’ve gone a long time without coverage. If you fall into that category, you may like the idea of meeting with someone in your community one-on-one and talking about your personal situation and your options. And you’re not alone.

There is free, in-person enrollment help available right now. These are people in your community certified to sit down with you, explain your options, and help you make the best coverage decision for you and your family. They can also help you renew your plan if you’re already insured through the Affordable Care Act and want to keep your coverage. You can find someone near you by using the Get Covered America Locator tool at www.getcoveredamerica.org/locator or contacting a Get Covered America Ohio office in Cleveland (216-314-2392), Cincinnati (513-667-2304), or Columbus (614-636-0385).

4. You can start thinking now about what kind of plan fits your needs and budget.

Everybody’s needs and financial situations are different, so you can start thinking now about the type of coverage you want and what makes sense for your budget. Every plan is a little different, but all of them will be explained in easy-to-understand language for side-by-side comparison when you enroll. So you can learn more about the types of plans that will work for you today and prepare yourself for taking the next step come November 15.

If you want to talk with someone in person about the types of plans that will be available, free enrollment help is also available to meet with you right in your community too. Or if you want to get a better understanding of health insurance more generally, check out our Get Covered Guide.

5. Every plan covers the essentials, so you know you’ll be protected.
Every plan through the Affordable Care Act must cover ten essential benefits, so you know you’ll be getting a quality plan. These benefits include: doctor’s visits, preventive care, medications, emergency room visits, maternity care, and more. This means that every Ohioan that enrolls will be able to get the medical care that they need to stay healthy – including free preventive care.

And no plan can deny you coverage based on a preexisting condition. For the first time, there are options for people who live with conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or asthma that may have prevented them from finding affordable coverage in the past.

November 15 marks a historic opportunity for Ohioans who are currently living without health insurance. With these five simple facts, you can prepare for open enrollment to begin and take action to protect yourself and your family with quality, affordable health insurance. And don’t forget that if you don’t enroll by February 15, you might face a fine – so be sure to act right away.

You can learn more about the Affordable Care Act, your coverage options, and how you can help your friends and family get covered at www.getcoveredamerica.org.
About Get Covered America and Enroll America

Get Covered America is a national campaign of Enroll America that is focused on educating consumers about the benefits of health coverage and the new health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act. With operations in eleven states (AZ, FL, GA, IL, MI, NC, NJ, OH,PA, TN and TX), our grassroots team is powered by passionate staff and volunteers with one motivating goal: to give Americans the information they need to choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families.

Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, bringing together community and health organizations, businesses and others to inform consumers about new health coverage options and how to enroll in them. It is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

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