As we near the fifth period of Open Enrollment, communication this year has become increasingly crucial in response to administrative changes that will have an impact. Here are helpful messages and talking points to share with your networks.
1. Coverage is available, though the open enrollment period is shorter this year (November 1 – December 15, 2017).
- While there has been a lot of talk about changing the Affordable Care Act, it is still the law of the land and coverage is still available for tens of millions of Americans.
- If you enroll in a plan for 2018, you will have health insurance in 2018.
- This year, the open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace is shorter than in the past. Starting on November 1st, you will be able to see plans available in Illinois and enroll in coverage.
- The deadline to enroll on the Health Insurance Marketplace is December 15. If you miss this deadline, you may not be able to enroll until next winter and may pay a fine for being uninsured.
- To find someone in your community certified to sit down with you for free and schedule an appointment for help with the enrollment process, you can visit www.getcoveredillinois.gov and click “Make An Appointment” or you can visit http://www.ilcha.org/help
2. Financial help is available to lower monthly costs
- One of the main goals of the Affordable Care Act is to help people, including those who may have previously struggled paying for coverage, afford a plan that fits their needs and budget. There are low-cost health coverage options available.
- Still, many people wonder if they can afford coverage, and they have to make the best financial decisions for themselves and their families.
- The good news is that through the Affordable Care Act, financial help is available to lower consumers’ premiums. This help is applied after you enroll in a plan to make your coverage more affordable.
- In fact, more than 80% of Illinoisans who enrolled through the Health Insurance Marketplace received financial help to lower their monthly premiums last year. The average HealthCare.gov enrollee paid just $101 per month for coverage.
- To find out how much you could save on a marketplace plan, visit www.getcoveredillinois.gov and click “Check My Eligibility” see how much financial help you may receive.
3. Free, in-person enrollment help is available in your community
- Many people have questions about their health insurance options--or maybe they want expert advice before making a decision and selecting a plan.
- The good news is that there are free appointments with in-person enrollment assisters available right in your community. They’ll sit down with you face-to-face, answer your questions, walk you through coverage options, and help you select the best plan for your family.
- In fact, someone who receives in-person help is 60 percent more likely to successfully enroll in coverage than those who don’t.
- To find someone in your community certified to sit down with you for free and schedule an appointment for help with the enrollment process, you can visit www.getcoveredillinois.gov and click “Make An Appointment” or you can visit http://www.ilcha.org/help.
4. Coverage helps protect both your health and your wallet
- The Affordable Care Act offers many choices for consumers who are looking for low-cost plans that provide quality coverage and cover the services they need.
- Some may think they can’t afford the monthly payment for insurance, but even a minor injury can cost thousands of dollars, and medical debt is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.
- When you make the decision to enroll in coverage, it not only helps you stay healthy, but also ensures that if you experience an unexpected illness or injury, you won’t be saddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills. So insurance is valuable for both your family’s health and financial security.
- And all plans—no matter the cost—cover the important benefits like doctor visits, hospital says, preventive services like mammograms and more.
- If you feel like you can’t afford health insurance, you owe it to yourself and your family to try and find a plan that fits your needs and budget. To find someone in your community that is certified to sit down with you—for free—and schedule an appointment for help with the enrollment process, you can visit www.getcoveredillinois.gov and click “Make An Appointment” or you can visit http://www.ilcha.org/help.
5. New plans and prices are available
- Every year, the plans available through the Marketplace may change, or there may be new options available. People who have already enrolled through the Marketplace will also need to update their financial information and renew their coverage.
- Each year, it’s important to take a look at how your financial help; your doctors, hospitals, and prescriptions; and your plan choices and prices have changed.
- Starting on November 1, you can look at plans available on the Health Insurance Marketplace and get a personalized estimate of your total yearly cost under each plan based on your medical and financial situation. You can also see if your prescription drugs and doctors are covered by the plans you are considering.
- To see plans and get a personalized estimate of your costs, visit www.getcoveredillinois.gov and click “Compare Plans.”
6. There is a fine for not having coverage.
- The Affordable Care Act is designed to help every person—regardless of income or any other fact—enroll in affordable coverage. To achieve that goal, the law requires everyone to have coverage, either through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or through some other means.
- It’s important to remember that if you don’t get covered, you might have to pay a fine of $695 per person or 2.5% of your income—whichever is greater.
- But rather than pay the fine, it makes more sense to enroll in coverage and get the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re protected.
- To avoid paying the fine, you should schedule a free appointment with an in-person enrollment assister in your community right away. You can find someone in your community that is certified to sit down with your—for free—and schedule an appointment for help with the enrollment process by visiting www.getcoveredillinois.gov and click “Make An Appointment” or you can visit http://www.ilcha.org/help.
These talking points were adopted from consumer tested messages, provided by Enroll America in the fourth open enrollment period. The full report is available here.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017