Mishawaka, Ind. Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace opens tomorrow and local insurance services are making sure that residents have no fears when it comes to signing up.
The easiest place for the web savvy citizen is to go to healthcare.gov. Select your state and the site will guide you step by step through the process, based on the specifications of your state. You’ll also have the opportunity to compare plans side by side.
Of course, with a new system comes many questions. Resources like St. Joseph Regional Medical Center’s Health Insurance Services can provide in-person information about your health insurance options.
“We have gotten a lot of calls we have a lot of individuals with angst on what do they need to do,” said Andre Waddell, Director of Consumer Assistance at St. Joseph. “Our goal is to help settle some of that angst and just get them prepared.”
The service comes at no cost to the individual and the agents who talk them through the steps do not receive commission for their services.
“Our goal is to make sure that we get everyone insured regardless of what plan they select,” Waddell said. “We have an unbiased approach. So we’re here just to meet those insurance needs. We're looking forward to tomorrow.”
Waddell also recommends making an appointment ahead of time to save time. There are locations in both Mishawaka and Plymouth, Ind.
Individuals should gather up the following information before going to enroll:
--Social security numbers for every member of your household that needs coverage.
--Employer and income information (for example -- pay stubs or W-2 forms.)
--Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household.
-- And employer coverage information - it's a one page form that asks for employer info.
Enrollment opens Oct. 1 for coverage as soon as Jan. 1, 2014. Open enrollment closes on March 31 of next year.
Healthcare.gov hotline: 1-800-318-2595
St. Joseph Regional Medical Center’s Health Insurance Services: 855-900-0024, walk-ins are also welcome