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Press Release: More Reasons than ever to Visit HealthCare.gov during Open Enrollment Nov 1 – Jan 16

Nov 1, 2023 | English, Marketplace / Healthcare.gov, Medicaid, News

Free local help is available to find affordable health insurance for 2024

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Anna Leavitt, Communications Coordinator
Washtenaw Health Project
734-780-6526
leavitta@washtenaw.org

YPSILANTI, Mich., Nov. 1, 2023 – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) annual enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace opens Nov. 1, 2023. Current enrollees can explore plans and make changes to their coverage for next year, and people in need of coverage can sign up. HealthCare.gov now offers the lowest-cost health insurance options ever available through the Marketplace.

Free local help is available through the Washtenaw Health Project, a nonprofit organization providing the Washtenaw Health Plan and comprehensive help navigating the healthcare enrollment process. Washtenaw Health Project staff are Marketplace Certified Application Counselors and Navigators. To find a trained professional to help make healthcare decisions, call or email the Washtenaw Health Project at 734-544-3030 or whp@washtenaw.org.

Anyone with questions can call or email to talk about their options or make an appointment. Help is available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and other languages using telephone translation.

Policy shifts make 2024 Marketplace coverage more affordable than ever

This year, uninsured Michigan residents are eligible for discounts that lower their health insurance costs to $10 or less per month, and many of them can enroll in a plan with no monthly cost at all. People whose income was too high to qualify for financial help in the past are now also eligible for generous discounts due to increased premium tax credits (PTCs) under the American Rescue Plan, which was extended through 2025 by the Inflation Reduction Act last year.

“Most people now qualify for discounts that help substantially lower their monthly health insurance costs,” said Meredith Buhalis. “If you are still on the fence about signing up for health insurance for 2024, you should take a look at the plans offered on HealthCare.gov to see just how affordable health insurance currently is.”

Michigan residents currently enrolled in a plan on HealthCare.gov are also going to benefit from the Rescue Plan’s discounts, with 4 out of 5 people eligible to enroll in a comprehensive health insurance plan that costs $10 or less per month, after financial help.

“People should keep in mind that health insurance plans and prices change year to year, as do our health needs,” said Meredith Buhalis. “If you are enrolled in a 2023 plan, you should return to HealthCare.gov and compare your 2024 plan options to ensure you have the best plan for you in the coming year.”

People enrolling in a plan on HealthCare.gov are guaranteed to receive comprehensive coverage, with no pre-existing condition exclusions or markups. These plans cover essential benefits, including doctor and hospital visits, prescription drugs, mental health treatment, and maternity care. In addition, enrollees receive free preventive care services, such as vaccines, colonoscopies, mammograms, and health screenings.

Anyone shopping for health insurance should generally avoid plans offered outside of HealthCare.gov. “Junk insurance” products are widely marketed online in deceptive or misleading ways and pose huge financial risks to consumers. These products can refuse to pay for care for pre-existing conditions, charge consumers more based on their gender, and impose annual coverage limits.

Open enrollment is especially important for those who lost Medicaid coverage

This year’s open enrollment period is an important opportunity for people who have lost Medicaid or MIChild coverage to sign up for Marketplace plans. After a three-year pause on Medicaid redeterminations during the pandemic, Michigan began the process of “unwinding,” or reviewing the eligibility of all Medicaid cases. Redeterminations started in May this year which has led to many people losing Medicaid. Many are still eligible for Medicaid but may have lost it due to procedural errors. However, many are no longer eligible—for example, if they brought in more income this year or aged out of the eligibility criteria. People who transition to a Marketplace plan may qualify for financial assistance to cover out-of-pocket expenses and monthly premiums.

Special Enrollment Period for those who lose Medicaid coverage

Anyone losing Medicaid or MIChild is eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and can enroll in Marketplace coverage by visiting HealthCare.gov or by working with a local Certified Navigator any time through July 2024.

Free local help is available!

Enrolling in health insurance can be confusing, but free local help is available. Health coverage is now more affordable than ever. Contact the Washtenaw Health Project with any questions, for help with enrollment, or to learn about financial assistance options. The Washtenaw Health Project helps anyone living in Washtenaw County connect with the best health care coverage available, no matter their income or circumstances.

Washtenaw Health Project

The Washtenaw Health Project works directly with people to assess their eligibility for health coverage and to secure coverage. Visit WashtenawHealthProject.org, call 734-544-3030 or email whp@washtenaw.org. Washtenaw Health Project is located at the Washtenaw County Human Services building at 555 Towner Street, Ypsilanti.  

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