Need health insurance? The time to sign up is now!

U-M counselors can help you understand your options under the Affordable Care Act

We've got you coveredEverywhere you go these days, from the supermarket to the cell phone store, you face a dizzying array of choices.

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 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.

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Did tax time bring an unwelcome surprise?

Act now to get health insurance & avoid penalties next year

ACA tax

It’s not too late to get insurance for 2015.

Ah, spring. Chirping birds, budding trees, blooming flowers and… tax penalties?

Yes, this year brings a new spring tradition for Americans – at least, for those who went through the past year without health insurance.

For the first time, everyone who could have afforded insurance, but didn’t buy it, will have to pay a penalty on their federal tax return.

This year, that means $95 or 1 percent of income will disappear from refund checks, or get tacked on to the tax bill that’s due April 15.

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Get coverage, get care

U-M Health System offers free insurance enrollment help & will accept most ACA plans

Through the Affordable Care Act, Americans can get health insurance coverage even if they don't receive it through a job or a government program.

Through the Affordable Care Act, Americans can get health insurance coverage even if they don’t receive it through a job or a government program.

The door to health insurance has just opened wide once again for uninsured Americans, and the University of Michigan Health System stands ready to help them enroll and get the care they need.

Now that the Open Enrollment period is under way, U-M counselors can assist anyone who needs to enroll in an Affordable Care Act health plan for the first time, or explore their options if they already have one. The help is free.

And when a wide range of new ACA insurance plans start offering coverage on Jan. 1, UMHS will accept most of them for care.

UMHS already accepts 131 ACA plans directly, and members of other plans can come to UMHS for highly advanced care.

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Know someone without health insurance? Share this post ASAP!

Top tips from a U-M team that’s helped hundreds get into private plans & Healthy Michigan

Coverage3 fwFor Doug Weaver and his team, the last few months — and especially the last week — have brought incredible excitement.

Instead of spending most of their time helping uninsured U-M patients navigate mazes of medical bills, they’ve helped hundreds of people sign up for health insurance that will cover their care. They’ve fielded nearly 3,000 inquiries since fall.

If you know someone who doesn’t have health insurance yet, Doug and his team can help. But act fast – by April 15 if possible! 

Q: Why is April 15 so important?

Doug Weaver: Well, that’s the last day when we’ll be able to finish up applications for private insurance plan coverage, for folks who never finished their application before the March 31 deadline.

It’s also Tax Day. For people who might be eligible for Medicaid, filing a tax form showing your income from last year will really help speed your application along.

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Countdown to coverage: It’s health insurance crunch time!

Free enrollment help available at UMHS, where many Affordable Care Act private plans & Healthy Michigan Medicaid plans will be accepted

If you live in Michigan and you don’t have health insurance, you don’t have a moment to lose.Coverage3 fw

If you’ve started an application for private insurance by Monday, March 31, you must complete it by mid-April or lose out on your chance to buy insurance — unless something big happens in your life later this year. Depending on your income, you can get a break on the cost of insurance.

For low-income people, Tuesday, April 1, is the first day to enroll in a brand-new public plan – called the Healthy Michigan plan. It’s a Medicaid program, but it’s open to many people who couldn’t get Medicaid before now. Signups will continue all year.

During this crunch time for insurance enrollment, the University of Michigan Health System is offering free enrollment help to anyone who needs it – whether or not they get their health care at U-M hospitals or health centers. Continue reading