Need health insurance? Now is the time to act!

November 14, 2014

Remember these dates—November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.

This is the window of “open enrollment” when individuals can purchase a new health insurance plan or change their existing plan. This means that if you are currently uninsured, it’s important that you act now to purchase healthcare coverage. If you already purchased health insurance, you should review your current situation to make sure that you have the right coverage.

This applies to plans that were created under health care reform, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). All of the plans created under the ACA are sold on what is known as the “health insurance marketplace”. This marketplace is either run by your particular state government or through the federal government. It’s simply a website or phone number where you can explore your plan options and make an informed decision about the coverage that fits your health care needs and budget.

Here are some details to help you navigate open enrollment:

Why do you need health insurance?
Health insurance coverage is critical to cancer prevention and early detection. Staying healthy and taking proactive steps to promote your wellbeing are key components of your personal cancer prevention strategy. All plans offered through the marketplace offer essential health benefits including over a dozen preventive services with no co-pay. These services can help you from getting sick and even include free cancer screenings. Additionally, individuals cannot be denied coverage or charged more for pre-existing conditions like cancer.

How will you pay for your health insurance?
Financial Assistance
The marketplace offers quality health plans and financial help to help many people pay for the cost of health insurance. You can use the calculator below to determine if you qualify for any financial assistance, based on your income and family size. You might also qualify for Medicaid, which provides free or low-cost health insurance or your children may qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Sign Up or Renew!
Don’t have coverage?

If you are ready to explore your healthcare options, or assist others in doing so, there are some tools to help you. Get Covered America can help you learn more about your coverage options, how to sign up or get assistance with your application with local, in-person help, and provide a simple coverage calculator to determine what plan will work for you and the amount of financial assistance you qualify for.

Already covered?
Your goal should be to stay covered. Don’t forget to update your financial information and visit the Marketplace again to shop for the plan that fits your needs and budget. There could be new options available to you. You should act by December 15 to ensure a smooth transition if you do decide to change plans.

Resources
Get Covered America: Access tools and find answers to your questions.
Healthcare.gov: Find your health insurance marketplace.
Medicaid.gov: Find out if you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP.

Don’t forget to sign up to be a Prevent Cancer Foundation advocate today! If you have any questions about the Affordable Care Act or open enrollment, contact Elizabeth.Hoffler@preventcancer.org.

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