Despite what you may have heard (or not heard) from the White House, you can still get a health insurance plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment begins on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 and ends on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. Make sure you get the best health plan for you by taking the following steps before you enroll:
- Pay off any balances on your current health insurance. If you owe a back-payment or have a balance you may not be able to enroll in a Marketplace plan for 2018. Call your current plan to see if you owe anything.
- Open your mail. Health insurers and state officials may send you information about changes to your eligibility, plan or Marketplace. Don't toss it. Open it right away and save or respond appropriately. If you have questions about what the mail says, and are living with HIV, call AFC's insurance assisters at 1-312-784-9060.
- Check your eligibility for Medicaid. Medicaid provides free or low-cost coverage to people with limited incomes. Medicaid isn't part of the Marketplace and you'll have to enroll separately. See if you qualify for Medicaid.
- Renew your ADAP coverage. If you are living with HIV, are eligible for the Ryan White program, and use the Premium Assistance Program, make sure to renew your ADAP certification before you enroll in a Marketplace plan. ADAP certification must be renewed every six months. Ask your Case Manager, Medical Benefits Coordinator or Resource Specialist for help with renewal. Reach out to us at 1-312-784-9060 if you need help.
- Collect your documents. This includes your Social Security number (if you have one), income information, tax information and information about your current health plan.
- Call for assistance. If you are living with HIV or eligible for Medicaid, call us first at 1-312-784-9060 to learn which plans might best suit you. The Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 can help you enroll in a Marketplace plan 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or contact Get Covered Illinois at 800-843-6154 to find a local assister who can help.
Open enrollment begins on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 and ends on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. Make sure you get the plan that best meets your unique health needs.
[Note from TheBody.com: This article was originally published by AIDS Foundation of Chicago on Oct. 19, 2017. We have cross-posted it with their permission.]