Archive for May, 2014

Do I qualify for free coverage?

May 9, 2014

Depending on how much money you make and the size of your family, you might qualify for a state program that offers free or low-cost coverage for you and your family.

In some states, these programs are called Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but other states’ programs have different names.

Medicaid provides health coverage for some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In some states, the program covers any adult whose income is below a certain level. Even if you didn’t qualify for Medicaid in the past, you might qualify now since there are new rules.

CHIP provides free or low-cost health coverage to children in working families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. In some states, certain pregnant women are also allowed to sign up for CHIP.

If you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, you can sign up at any time during the year. For more information, visit

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When can I sign up for health insurance?

April 21, 2014

The 2017 marketplace enrollment period is closed for the year. After this date, certain changes in your life, called “qualifying life events,” might allow you to sign up for health insurance through the marketplace outside of the normal open enrollment period (called a “Special Enrollment Period”).

Qualifying life events could include:

  • Getting married
  • Having a baby or adopting a child
  • Moving outside of your coverage area
  • A loss of coverage (like when you graduate, turn 26 and lose your parent’s coverage, change jobs, go through a divorce, or have a death in the family)
  • Certain changes to your income
  • A change in your immigration status
  • Experiencing a Marketplace error, an issue with your Medicaid qualification, or other complicated cases

If you think you might qualify for a special enrollment period, visit as soon as possible after experiencing one of these events, and report a life change. In most cases, you have 60 days from the event to sign up for a new plan or change your current plan.

If you qualify for your state’s free health insurance program (called Medicaid in some states), you can sign up at any time.

For more information, visit

What’s a Health Insurance Marketplace? Why do I need health insurance?

March 31, 2014

Why_Do_I_Need_Health_Insurance_315xThe new health care law sets up a health insurance marketplace in each state, which is your one-stop shopping destination for health insurance. It works in the same way you would shop for any other important item in your life: You look at all the available options in your area, compare each plan’s features and prices side-by-side, then choose the one that fits your needs and your budget.

6 key facts about the new health insurance options:

  1. Financial help is available.
  2. Preventive care is free.
  3. Application help is available — and free.
  4. You can’t be turned down for coverage for a having a pre-existing condition.
  5. The costs and benefits of each plan must be explained in easy-to-understand language — with no fine print.
  6. All health insurance plans have to cover important benefits, like doctor visits, hospitalizations, prescriptions, and more.

You buy insurance for your home, your car, maybe even your cell phone. Why not for your health? If something happens to you, you leave yourself vulnerable to large medical bills. No one plans to get sick or hurt. But no one should go broke — or even bankrupt — because of an injury or illness.

Even if you’re healthy now, family history with things like high blood pressure, diabetes, or cancer can make you vulnerable to expensive health care needs. Having quality health insurance gives you protection from the unexpected.

The marketplace reopens each year. For more information, visit

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What type of plan is right for me?

March 25, 2014

What should I do before I sign up?

December 17, 2013

There are a few things you can do to prepare so signing up goes as smoothly as possible.

Gather a few important personal documents before you start. Before you sit down and begin the sign-up process, you’ll want to make sure you have this information handy:

  • Social Security numbers of everyone who will be on your plan. You don’t need the actual card — just the number.
  • Income information. A recent W-2 or pay stub helps.
  • Information about any health insurance you currently have (if you have it). Something that has the policy number on it is all you need. If you don’t have insurance, don’t worry about it.

Know what to expect. Here are the basic steps you can expect to take in the health insurance marketplace:

Step 1. Decide how you’re going to apply
There are four ways you can sign up through the health insurance marketplace: online, by phone, by mailing in a paper application, or with local help.

Step 2. A bit about you
You’ll need to answer some questions about you and your family, including your income, the number of people in your family, and more.

Step 3. Time to shop
You will be able to compare your options side-by-side and choose a plan that meets your needs and your budget. Financial help is available for many. In fact, more than 4 out of 5 people who already signed up got help paying for their insurance.

Step 4. Sign up for a plan
Once you’ve reviewed the plans available, you can pick the one that’s right for you and sign up.

The marketplace reopens each year. For more information, visit

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How much will my new health insurance cost? Can I get financial help?

August 28, 2013

More than 4 in 5 people who already signed up for health insurance got help paying for it.

The amount of financial help works on a sliding scale based on an individual’s or family’s income. Some people will qualify for free or low-cost health insurance through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The good thing about the Health Insurance Marketplace is that there are many plans and prices for you to compare side-by-side, so you can choose a plan that fits your needs and your budget.

The marketplace reopens each year. For more information, visit

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What will my new health insurance plan cover?

Through the health insurance marketplace, you can be sure that whatever plan you choose will cover the most important benefits like doctor visits, hospitalizations, prescriptions, maternity and infant care, mental health care, and more. Many preventive services are covered, and at no cost to you.

What Your New Insurance Gets You:

  • Free preventive care
  • Prescription coverage
  • Mental health services
  • Emergency services and hospitalizations
  • Maternity care
  • Infant care and children’s care

Examples of Preventive Care:

  • Vaccinations
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Mammograms
  • Pap smears

The marketplace reopens each year. For more information, visit

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