The Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) was signed into law in 2010. The purpose of the Act is to help uninsured Americans get access to affordable health care. Starting November 1, 2016, individuals can sign up health insurance plan on line through HealthCare.gov.
- Open enrollment is from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017, coverage can begin as soon as January 1, 2017 if you apply before December 15, 2016.
- Free, in-person enrollment assistance is available throughout the county to help people sign up for an insurance plan, call 1-855-733-3711
- Special enrollment periods may apply for those who experience a change in family size, marital status or job, and several other qualifying events
- No one can be turned down because of pre-existing conditions
- People earning more than 100% but less than 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) will qualify for federal subsidies to help reduce the monthly cost of their insurance premium
- In North Carolina, people earning less than 100% of FPL or more than 400% FPL will not qualify for subsidies (this varies from state to state)
HOW CAN INDIVIDUAL’S APPLY?
There are many ways to apply for insurance through the Marketplace. Applications are available in several different places:
- BY MAIL: Paper Applications available
- BY PHONE: call 1-800-318-2596. Customer service representatives available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, assistance available in 150 languages
- ONLINE: www.healthcare.gov (federal website), https://epass.nc.gov (state website)
- IN PERSON: If you would like assistance completing your application, you can schedule an appointment with a health insurance navigator in your community by calling 1-855-733-3711
WHAT DO INDIVIDUALS NEED WHEN THEY APPLY?
- Social Security Numbers, or document numbers for legal immigrants
- Employer and income information for every member of your household who needs coverage (for example, pay stubs or W-2 forms)
- Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household
- Information on any current coverage or employer based coverage
Great video explaining the Affordable Care Act: http://kff.org/health-reform/video/youtoons-obamacare-video/
Also available in Spanish: http://kff.org/health-reform/video/los-youtoons-se-preparan-para-obamacare/
Health Insurance Marketplace: www.healthcare.gov
North Carolina Institute of Medicine: www.nciom.org
Kaiser Family Foundation: http://healthreform.kff.org