As of Sunday, Nov. 1, individuals were able to begin enrolling in health insurance plans for 2016 through the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment dates are Nov.1 through Jan. 31, 2016. Those who do not enroll before Jan. 31 will not be able to enroll in a health insurance plan unless they have a qualifying life event. Those who are required to purchase health insurance coverage for 2016 and do not purchase insurance through the Marketplace, employer or privately will pay a fee or fine; the 2016 fines are higher than previous year’s fines.
Helping Consumers Navigate Through the Ocean of Information
For many people, regardless of age, business experience or education, navigating through the numerous plans and insurance companies is a mind-boggling and even frightful experience. Trying to get through the options and information can be as daunting as crossing the ocean without a compass or navigation system. North Country HealthCare understands how overwhelming enrollment can be.
In an effort to assist those needing to purchase insurance through the Marketplace, North Country HealthCare has trained 40 certified application counselors who are available in 14 communities throughout Northern Arizona. These specially trained counselors help people navigate through the plans and services available so enrollees can find the insurance plan that is right for them and their family. They can assist through one-on-one, in-person appointments at designated locations such as North Country HealthCare locations, or via phone appointments.
Required Enrollment Information
When enrolling, certain information is required, including current and projected income, and individuals will need to answer some questions about themselves and the family members they wish to insure. During the application process, individuals and families will be able to determine if they qualify for AHCCCS (Arizona Medicaid) or are eligible to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan.
Those making between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level are eligible for subsidies to defray the cost of their premium and, in some cases, minimize the cost of deductibles and copays. The amount of subsidy available to an applicant is determined online during the actual enrollment process. These Qualified Health Plans include an essential health benefit packages and a variety of coverage levels that vary according to premiums, deductible and copay costs. Costs vary based on age, location of residence and tobacco use. The plans cannot charge more based on preexisting conditions. FBN
To learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace, visit healthcare.gov.
To Make an Appointment
To schedule an appointment with certified application counselor or to request an advocate or navigator to present to a group, call North Country HealthCare at 928-522-9466.
About North Country HealthCare
North Country HealthCare is the only publicly supported community health center in the region and provides accessible, affordable, comprehensive, quality healthcare in an atmosphere of respect, dignity and cultural sensitivity. The health and wellbeing of patients and community alike are promoted through direct services, training and education, outreach and advocacy. Established in 1991 by a group of local healthcare providers and volunteers to care for the uninsured, North Country HealthCare is a federally qualified health center with 23 sites in 14 communities throughout northern Arizona.
For more information on the locations, programs and services, call 928-522-9400 or visit northcountryhealthcare.org. Like North Country HealthCare on Facebook.
Byron Lewis is the health benefits navigator for North Country HealthCare.