United Way wants you to #GetCovered for 2020!
United Way fights for affordable, quality healthcare coverage for all Americans. To accomplish that goal, United Ways are committed to promoting and supporting robust outreach and enrollment efforts.
Despite constant threats to dismantle or undermine the Affordable Care Act, the ACA marketplace is stable and will be open for business starting November 1. The official start to Open Enrollment 7 (OE7) is Friday, November 1, 2019 and runs until December 15, 2019.
Top 5 Things to Know about Open Enrollment
1. When: November 1, 2019 - December 15, 2019 (some states may extend their deadlines, but in order to have coverage that begins January 1, you must enroll by December 15)
2. Where: HealthCare.Gov Always start with HealthCare.Gov. If your state uses their own website, HealthCare.Gov will guide you there. HealthCare.Gov or your state-based marketplace can only sell ACA plans, so you can rest easy knowing you’re getting a comprehensive plan that will be there for you when you need it.
3. What: Comprehensive coverage at an affordable price. HealthCare.Gov plans must include key benefits like mental health care, maternity care, prescription drug coverage and hospitalization services. In addition to good coverage, most marketplace shoppers will qualify for a discount based on their income. Last year, more than 8 in 10 shoppers could get a plan for less than $100/month.
4. Why: Peace of mind. Financial security. Access to comprehensive care. There are so many reasons to sign up for affordable, comprehensive coverage, join the millions who have gained health insurance thanks to the ACA!
5. How: Enroll online, over the phone, or in-person. Log on to the official ACA marketplace at HealthCare.Gov, or CuidadodeSalud.Gov, call the marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596, or make an appointment for in-person assistance through the Get Covered Connector
Important Facts to Know
There’s a lot of confusion among both the remaining uninsured and current marketplace consumers about what exactly has changed, what hasn’t, and what are the best options for enrolling in coverage. We’re busting some of the most common myths about the ACA - check them out below.
• Financial assistance is still available for low and middle-income consumers to help lower the cost of their plan. In fact, more than 8 out of 10 consumers last year qualified for a tax credit.
• Premium price increases for 2020 are expected to be much lower than previous years (projected at .1% nationally), and some states will even see price decreases. Increased insurer participation also indicates that the marketplace is stabilizing.
• All of the consumer protections created by the ACA are still intact, and all plans sold by HealthCare.Gov must provide comprehensive coverage and cannot charge a consumer more because of their health status or medical history. Plans outside the ACA marketplace don’t have to offer the same protections, so always make sure to use HealthCare.Gov when enrolling in coverage.
Tax Credits and Affordability
The ACA marketplace is designed to help consumers who don’t have health insurance through their employer or through a government program like Medicaid or Medicare afford individual coverage. To make sure coverage is affordable, most low to middle income shoppers will qualify for a discount based on their income to lower the cost of their plan. Last year, 85 percent of enrollees received a tax credit to lower their monthly premiums. And, 4.5 million Americans qualified for a $0 bronze plan - that means they could get a plan with no monthly premium!
If your annual income falls between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL), you could qualify for a tax credit. And, if your income is less than 250 percent FPL, you could qualify for additional discounts that lower your out of pocket costs, like your deductible.
STATE DEADLINES AND INFORMATION
Several states have their own marketplace exchanges, and some have extended their open enrollment periods (highlighted below).
Note: Healthcare.gov will redirect users to the appropriate state marketplace so you can always direct consumers to the federal marketplace.
1. Affordability is Key. Cost remains the biggest barrier to coverage and low awareness of the tax credit remains a big information gap.
• Coverage may be more affordable than you think. More than 8 in 10 people who enroll through Healthcare.gov qualify for financial help
• A person making $25,000 a year could qualify for a bronze plan for just $22 a month with tax credits
• Discounts based on income are available to keep your health plan affordable
• Plans and prices change every year, so it’s important to check out your options and see what’s available, even if you’ve looked before -- you might have a better deal than you expect
2. Get Peace of Mind: Comprehensive coverage & consumer protections haven’t changed. Promoting comprehensive coverage can help distinguish ACA plans from plans sold outside the marketplace, such as short-term plans, that provide fewer benefits and are not required to include consumer protections.
• All plans sold on HealthCare.Gov MUST cover key benefits like preventive check-ups, prescriptions drugs, hospitalizations, mental health care, and maternity care
• When shopping for a plan on HealthCare.Gov, you cannot be charged more based on your health status
• When enrolling in an ACA plan, you will never be asked about your medical history. The only factors that influence the price of your plan are your geography, age, and whether or not you are a smoker
• Accidents can happen anytime - get peace of mind knowing you’re covered if the unexpected happens. Enroll today at HealthCare.Gov
3. Consumers want in-person help. The focus group data found a surprising number of consumers sought in-person help of some kind, indicating that most current enrollees and remaining uninsured would like expert guidance if it were available to them. While there is less in-person support than previous years, it’s important than consumers know what is available, and get connected to help where possible.
United Way Worldwide
• We know that when people meet with an in-person assister, they are nearly twice as likely to complete enrollment. Help consumers find help near them - find an appointment through the Get Covered Connector
4. Deadlines! Like last year, the open enrollment period is shorter than it was the first four open enrollment periods. To make sure consumers don’t miss out, it’s very important to remind them of the December 15th deadline. Plan to ramp up communications in the final two weeks with e-blasts, social media posts, and other reminders about the December 15th deadline.
• Open enrollment runs November 1 - December 15 in most states. Make sure folks know they MUST enroll by December 15 to have coverage for 2020!
• The best plans and best prices are available on Healthcare.gov. Enroll before December 15th
• December 15th, December 15th, December 15th!