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