By Rosana Garcia
This Saturday, November 15th, 2014, open enrollment begins for purchasing health insurance plans on the state exchange, Access Health CT. There are three key things to remember:
- Starting November 15, there is free help available.
As Arielle Levin-Becker from the CT Mirror points out at the end of this article, there are several public libraries, as well as storefronts, people can go to enroll in a health insurance plan via the exchange.
There are the two enrollment centers or “storefronts” in New Haven and New Britain. As of now, these are open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. Click the link for more info, including what paperwork you should bring with you to enroll.
You can also contact the Call Center at 855-805-4325. We will update with exact Call Center hours once we have them.
Access Health CT has an online search to find a certified Navigator agency, In-Person Assister, Certified Application Counselor or you could choose to search for a licensed insurance broker. All of these are free—in fact, if someone tries to charge you for help enrolling through the exchange, they are not certified.
We will post updates on enrollment “help” after November 15.
- Shopping around for health insurance coverage is important for getting the plan that is best for you, your family, your finances and your health.
If you already purchased a health insurance plan on the exchange during the last enrollment period, you might be tempted to just allow yourself to be renewed automatically—but our advice is to go shopping anyway.
If you are eligible to purchase health insurance on the exchange, checking out your options starting November 15th, 2014 will allow you to make choices about your health insurance plan.
Access Health CT, the state exchange, is the only place where you can receive subsidies for purchasing health insurance. By enrolling or re-enrolling with your most up-to-date information, you’ll be able to see the true cost of your health insurance plan—with subsidies calculated according to your circumstances.
- December 15th is an important deadline.
To have coverage for January 1st, 2015, you have to take care of enrollment by December 15th, 2014.
If you had insurance through the exchange for 2014, you are likely eligible for automatic renewal. If so, you should be receiving information about this in the mail. You can read about our intern Max’s experience with auto-renewal here and here. We still suggest shopping for health insurance plans on the exchange, especially as there are changes in the past year. If you do nothing, you will be automatically re-enrolled for the same plan you have been paying for—which may no longer work for you.
If you are purchasing health insurance for the first time on the exchange, December 15th, 2014 is the deadline to have insurance for January 1st, 2015.
Take an active role in choosing the best health insurance plan for yourself. It all begins Saturday, November 15th, 2014 at Access Health CT.
For more information:
The CT Mirror’s offers Obamacare enrollment, year 2: What you need to know, as well as The Mirror’s guide to health care in Connecticut.
CT’s Health Investigative Team’s article, Diligence Pays Off When Shopping For Health Insurance, by Magaly Olivero, is filled with important information, as well.