The deadline to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace and receive benefits starting January 1st may have been extended, but it’s time to seriously think about which option may be right for you. If you enroll in a private health insurance plan any time between October 1, 2013 and December 23, 2013 and make your first premium payment, your new health coverage will begin January 1, 2014. During the rest of open enrollment, if you enroll between the 1st and 15th day of the month and pay your premium, your coverage will begin the first day of the next month. So if you enroll on February 10, 2014, your coverage begins March 1, 2014. After March 31, 2014, you can get new private health insurance for 2014 only through a special enrollment period if you have a qualifying life event like a job loss, birth, or divorce.
“We want to be sure that consumers understand the Health Insurance Marketplace and what options are available to them,” said Yvette Seaman, a Certified Application Counselor. “Any new law or program can be confusing and navigating the world of insurance can be intimidating if you have never had coverage before. That’s why there are resources to help consumers in Aroostook County through the process. The Certified Application Counselors and Navigators are all impartial and here to make sure consumers are able to get the coverage they need, either through private sources or other programs.”
In order to provide more opportunities for consumers to access these resources an event will be taking place in Caribou on December 19th from 12:00pm to 7:00pm at the Caribou Health & Wellness Center. Certified Application Counselors from local organizations will be available to discuss and review your coverage options and help with applications. To complete an application please bring birth dates and Social Security Numbers for those to be enrolled. Verification of income (tax returns, W2s) will also be needed.
Yvette and her counterparts hope that consumers in Aroostook County will take advantage of events like these as well as their services during regular office hours. “We have had some really positive outcomes so far, and look forward to being a part of many more before the end of the open enrollment period.”
If you have questions please call 498-2356.