Most of the time, you do your best to pick – and hope you got the best choice.
But what about choosing health insurance?
Right now, anyone can go online at www.healthcare.gov and shop for a health insurance plan for themselves and their family or small business. Many people qualify for financial help to make it easier to afford coverage. Some even qualify for free or low-cost coverage under the Healthy Michigan Plan.
And University of Michigan experts can help you choose the plan that’s right for you.
If you don’t get coverage, you’ll owe a penalty on your taxes next year – and that penalty is getting steeper by the year. So now’s the time to look at your coverage options.
Here’s the bottom line:
If you don’t have insurance, or you don’t offer it at your small business, you now have more choices. That includes all those private plans and potential tax credits to pay for them, plus for lower-income folks, access to expanded Medicaid plans in Michigan (and other states).
Now’s the time to sign up! From Nov. 1, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016, the insurance Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov is open for business. If you sign up for a plan by December 15, your coverage will begin January 1. If you sign up by Jan. 31, your coverage will start soon after. And if you qualify for the Healthy Michigan Plan or traditional Medicaid, you can sign up year-round and get covered immediately.
If you have coverage for most of 2016, you’ll avoid a tax penalty when your taxes are due in April of 2017.
If you currently buy insurance directly for yourself, your family or the employees of your small business, take a look at the 2016 plans, and compare the coverage and cost to what you have now. Depending on your family size, income, smoking status and age, you may be eligible for rates below what you currently pay — especially if you qualify for tax credits and subsidies that give you a discount. The same goes for small businesses that already provide insurance.
Even if you looked at plans on healthcare.gov before, and didn’t find a good option, there are new options available as of Nov. 1 for coverage starting in January.
OK, so how do I get covered?
If you are comfortable going online and exploring on your own, you can visit www.healthcare.gov to see what plans and credits you can qualify for.
Before you choose a plan, just be sure to check that the doctors and hospitals you prefer will accept it. Here’s a list of the plans that will let you get care at U-M Health System hospitals and doctor’s offices.
How do I get help?
- The U-M Health System has more than 20 Patient Financial Counselors who have received special training on these new insurance options, and other programs.They are available to help patients, families and visitors — and community members –understand their options and enroll.They can be reached at (877) 326-9155 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, or by email at PFC-Counselors@med.umich.edu . You can make an appointment to visit one in person, at one of many locations at the U-M medical campus or health centers.
- The UMHS Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools (RAHS) also has several trained counselors available to offer by-appointment help. Call 734-998-5795 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, or email UMHS-RAHS@umich.edu.
- Our Student-Run Free Clinic also offers appointments on Saturdays in Pinckney, Michigan to help uninsured people explore their options and enroll, with the help of medical students who are trained as Certified Application Counselors. Find out more here.
- Find information about which plans will cover UMHS hospital/doctor care here: www.uofmhealth.org/ACAplans. We’ve also posted useful info and links on www.uofmhealth.org/newoptions, and answers to common questions on www.uofmhealth.org/faqs-aca-umhs-you
Having health insurance is good for your physical & financial health, and the health of your family.
Make a choice today to explore your new choices – on your own or with the help of a U-M counselor!
For more than 160 years, the University of Michigan Health System has been a national leader in advanced patient care, innovative research to improve human health and comprehensive education of physicians and medical scientists. The three U-M hospitals have been recognized numerous times for excellence in patient care, including a #1 ranking in Michigan and national rankings in many specialty areas by U.S. News & World Report.