Open enrollment for health insurance begins again on November 1st and millions of Americans have signed up to make sure they are in the loop about important coverage deadlines, as well as newly available prices and plans in 2016. As we move into the third year of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), AA&MDSIF wants to highlight a few of the issues that patients with rare diseases should be aware of:
- The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way for individuals, families, and small businesses to get health coverage;
- The ACA requires insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing health conditions;
- The ACA protects your choice of doctors, and
- Allows young adults to remain on their parents’ plan until age 26.
Before enrolling, it is important to make sure you have the proper information at hand to make your enrollment process smoother. Here is a checklist to help you organize what you need during this process:
- Compare the levels of coverage based on you or your family’s medical needs for the upcoming year. These plans range from Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum;
- Have social security numbers and birth dates at hand for each family member
- Organize tax records, job and income information to apply for federal financial assistance on the eHealth Insurance Marketplace;
- Keep track of qualifying life events (i.e. a birth of a child, marriage, adoption, relocation, etc.) that allow you to change your enrollment information and selected plans. You have 60 days after these events to make any changes; and
- It is important to save your online forms!—When completing any forms, make sure you save your application. You have the option to return later to finish. Saving as you go prevents having to re-enter information
If you have not applied for insurance or need to update your plan this is an opportunity to enroll, renew or change your plan through the marketplace. For more information, please visit www.healthcare.gov.