Open enrollment for plans available in the health insurance marketplaces begins today, Tuesday, October 1, 2013. Individuals without healthcare coverage can now begin exploring health insurance options available in their state’s marketplace. But, since coverage under these plans does not begin until January 1, 2014, you have until December 15, 2013, to select and enroll in a plan (if you want coverage to begin on January 1). Because open enrollment will remain available until March 31, 2014, you don’t have to make a decision today. You have time to thoroughly review the plans and make an informed decision that best meets your family’s needs.
To help you, NHF has updated its Health Insurance Toolkit. In addition to a glossary that defines confusing and complicated healthcare terms and acronyms, the toolkit also includes fact sheets about healthcare reform and worksheets that your family can use to identify important coverage needs for people with hemophilia or other bleeding disorders. These toolkits will be available at NHF’s Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California, this week.
If you need hands-on assistance in choosing your plan, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) created assistance positions to help individuals evaluate their coverage options. These so-called “navigators” and/or “in-person assisters” and “certified application counselors” will be available in every state to assist consumers. To ensure that the needs of the bleeding disorders community are met, NHF has partnered with Patient Services, Inc. (PSI) to have PSI designated as a certified application counselor organization for our hemophilia treatment center (HTC) social workers or other HTC staff. Your HTC social worker, someone you rely on and who understands your unique healthcare needs, may be certified to assist you with your enrollment questions.
Remember, with a few exceptions, everyone must have some form of healthcare coverage in 2014. However, not everyone is required to purchase their coverage in the marketplaces. Individuals currently insured or covered through the following: employer-sponsored health insurance; individual health insurance through a plan that meets a certain level of coverage; a grandfathered health plan; TRICARE or the Veteran’s Health Program, Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP, meet the requirements and do not need to purchase a plan in the marketplace. For more information, visit the government website: www.healthcare.gov.