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Have you enrolled in Health Care?

Have you enrolled in Health Care?

Last minute callers, there’s still time. Get to know the requisites, paperwork and if you need to translate or proofread any official documents.  

Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash  

Health Care is important, don’t sleep on it. Paperwork, enrollment forms, or waiting for approvals  is not the best sunday afternoon activity, we know. But the cost of procrastinating on the important things is way too high. If you are a native or non-native US citizen, there’s time until december 15, 2021 for coverage applications. 

WHAT IS AN OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD 

An open enrollment period is a window of time that happens once a year and allows you to sign up for health insurance, adjust your current plan or cancel your plan. It’s usually limited to a few weeks. If you miss it, it’s most likely you’ll have to wait until next year’s open enrollment to make any changes. 

There are exceptions. Maybe you got married, moved homes, had the unbelievable joy of having a baby. And maybe due to those or other reasons you lost your previous coverage or it’s now insufficient. If that is the case, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period at any time of the year. You can even apply, in that case, for coverage on what’s left of 2021. 

WHAT CAN I APPLY FOR  

The Open Enrollment Period is for people who get health insurance through their job, Medicare or the Affordable Care Act. This does not apply to Medicaid, which is a federal program for people with limited income to get access to health coverage and has no open enrollment period. 

The KFF data about employer-sponsored health insurance statistics suggests that 49% of Americans get health insurance coverage through their employers. That’s 157 million people. And there are many plans to choose from, so remember to make yourself a few basic questions to select your insurance wisely. Such as: 

  • How much did you spend on healthcare last year? 
  • Did the amount line up with your health care needs? 
  • Is your doctor/clinic in the network? 
  • Are your medications, if you have any, covered? 

The Affordable Care Act, also referred to as “Obamacare”, has its focus on preventive care and pre-existing conditions. There are plenty of UnitedHealthcare Exchange plans to apply for.   

Finally, Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed for people 65 or older. Though nowadays, it has become more flexible and also covers disabled people under 65 or people with special circumstances.  

Can you apply to more than one?  

Yes, if you have both Medicaid and Medicare benefits, you could be eligible for a Dual Special Needs Plan, or D-SNP. 

WHAT DO I NEED 

For starters, information about everyone applying for coverage, including their relationship to you. 

Information such as: 

  1. Home and/or mailing addresses for everyone applying for coverage: where you live can affect what health coverage you’re eligible for. 

Word of advice: most often your mailing address will be the same as your home address, but if it’s not, provide a mailing address in the state you live in 

  1. Social Security Numbers (SSNs). If you don’t enter an SSN, you may need to provide more information at a later time. 
  1. Employer and income information (income, expenses, deductions, and so on).  

[Text Wrapping Break]What falls under the term income? Wages, salaries, tips, unemployment compensation and more

  1. Your best estimate of your household income.If your income changes, or is different than what you estimated, you’ll need to update this information later.  
  1. A completed “Employer Coverage Tool” (this only applies if anyone in your household has or is eligible for coverage through their employer) 
  1. Information about the professional helping you apply. 

Do I need a professional? It’s not mandatory, but you may choose to hire navigators, certified application counselors, in-person assistance personnel, agents, and brokers. 

  1. Immigration document information (this only applies to lawfully present immigrants). 
  1. If you are a lawfully present immigrant, you’ll need to file immigration documents and information on how you’ll file your taxes. 

For a full review of documents, check the official site.  

MY DOCUMENTS ARE NOT IN ENGLISH 

As with all legal procedures and applications, these are handle-with-care situations. Sending the wrong files, or submitting incomplete data has a dreadful ripple effect. Even more so, if your documents are not originally in English. Or if you have a hard time understanding English to it’s max.  

If that is your case, don’t worry. You can contact us at the Language Solutions Team for help. 

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