Friday, November 14, 2014

Preparing for Open Enrollment

Dana Halvorson

According to a November 14, 2014, email alert from the HealthCare.gov Team, there are a few things you can do in order to prepare for open enrollment (or, if you are assisting anyone, help them prepare), which began last weekend on November 15th. If you enroll by December 15th, coverage can begin on January 1st, 2015. Ways you can get ready include:

 · Download this checklist to make sure you have all the documents you’ll need.

· Find out if you could qualify for premium tax credits and other savings this year.

 · See new 2015 Marketplace plans and prices before you apply.

 · Find someone in your community who can sit down with you to answer your questions before you fill out an application.

· Sign up for text message alerts that include updates and reminders so you don’t miss important deadlines.

In addition, and according to a November 14, 2014, email alert from the CMS Office of Minority Health, the Marketplace includes a Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP), designed to give small businesses new health insurance options and a way to cover their employees. The SHOP is available to small employers with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees. As of this past Saturday, the SHOP Marketplace is allowing qualifying employers to find, compare, purchase, and enroll in 2015 SHOP health and dental coverage entirely online through HealthCare.gov. Employees will be able to view offers of insurance from their employer and enroll online through HealthCare.gov. Small businesses and their employees can get help from the toll-free SHOP Marketplace call center at 1-800-706-7893 or for TTY, call 711. The hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m

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