Dec. 15 a key health insurance deadline
Free, in-person enrollment help available across NC
RALEIGH, DEC. 7, 2016 – North Carolinians who want to enroll in quality, affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace must enroll by Dec. 15 if they want their new coverage to begin on New Year's Day. Consumers who need to re-enroll should also choose plans by Dec. 15 so they don't experience any gap in coverage as the new year begins.
To help North Carolinians beat the deadline, in-person assisters are holding enrollment events across the state. For details, visit ncgetcovered.org/events/category/partner-events/.
The NC Navigator Consortium and Enroll America encourage all uninsured North Carolinians to take advantage of the quality plans and financial assistance available through the Affordable Care Act.
Here are five things every North Carolinian needs to know about getting covered by Dec. 15:
The Affordable Care Act is still the law. Some North Carolinians have expressed concerns and asked questions about the future of the Affordable Care Act and their ability to enroll in quality, affordable health coverage through the Marketplace after the elections. As of now, nothing about the Affordable Care Act marketplace has changed – consumers can still enroll.
The first open-enrollment deadline is Dec. 15. The open-enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace lasts three months, from Nov. 1, 2016, until Jan. 31, 2017. During this time, North Carolinians are able to enter the Marketplace and select a plan that fits their needs and budget. North Carolinians who currently have coverage through the Marketplace or an individual plan outside the Marketplace will also have an opportunity to shop the new options available and find the best plan for them. Enrolling by Dec. 15 will guarantee that their coverage will start on New Year's Day, providing them with the peace of mind that comes with protecting themselves and their families.
Free, local, in-person enrollment help is available to all North Carolinians. The enrollment process can be confusing for many, especially for those who have gone a long time without coverage. Luckily, there is free, in-person enrollment help available in your area. Navigators are certified, unbiased experts in your community who can sit down with you, explain your options, and help you make the best coverage decision for you and your family. Navigators can also help you re-enroll if you are already insured through the Affordable Care Act and want to keep your coverage or choose a new plan. You can find a navigator near you and make an appointment by calling 1-855-733-3711 (toll-free) or using the Get Covered Connector tool at GetCoveredAmerica.org/Connector.
92% of North Carolinians got financial help to make their plan more affordable. For many North Carolinians, affordability is a real concern in their health care decision-making. In the past, high premium costs have forced many to go without health insurance simply because they could not afford it. The good news is that financial help is available to help you pay for your plan. In fact, as of March 2016, nearly 545,000 North Carolinians were enrolled in coverage, and 92 percent of them received financial assistance to make their monthly payments affordable. To find out if you qualify for financial assistance through the Affordable Care Act, check out the Get Covered Calculator tool at GetCoveredAmerica.org/Calculator.
Plans and prices change every year, and now you can easily compare your options. Everyone's needs and financial situations are different, and the wide variety of plans can be intimidating. That's why Get Covered America has introduced the Get Covered Plan Explorer, a free online plan comparison tool that can provide you with up-to-date and easy-to-understand information on your health coverage options. By answering a few simple questions about your household, the Plan Explorer will generate a list of available plans that meet your needs – including the plans that cover your doctors. The tool also takes into account the monthly premium and estimated out-of-pocket costs, so you'll have a good idea of what you'll pay throughout the year. Using side-by-side comparisons, you can be confident that you're choosing the plan that best fits your needs and your annual budget. Explore your options now at GetCoveredAmerica.org/Explorer.
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The NC Navigator Consortium is a group of 13 health care, social service, and legal aid organizations that helps North Carolina consumers enroll in affordable health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. The consortium is led by Legal Aid of North Carolina, a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free civil legal aid to low-income North Carolinians.
Sean Driscoll, Director of Public Relations, Legal Aid of N.C., 919-856-2132, firstname.lastname@example.org