Enrolling in health insurance can get complicated. That’s why it’s important to gather the information you need ahead of time to eliminate headaches.
To save time and avoid repeat trips to your assister, collect the following information in a folder as you prepare to apply for health insurance through HealthCare.gov:
• Information about your household size. Figure out who in your household should apply before you start your application.
• Home and/or mailing addresses for everyone applying for coverage.
• Information about everyone applying for coverage, such as addresses, birth dates, and Social Security numbers.
• Information about the professional helping you apply (if you’re getting help completing your application), such as name, job title and contact information.
• Document information for legal immigrants.
• Information on how you file your taxes. (For example, if you’re self-employed, you may pay estimated taxes each quarter.) You might want to bring your last tax filing.
• Employer and income information for every member of your household (for example, from pay stubs or W-2 forms).
• Your best estimate of what your household income will be in 2017.
• Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household.
• A completed Employer Coverage Tool for every job-based plan you or someone in your household is eligible for. (You’ll need to fill out this form even for coverage you’re eligible for but don’t enroll in.)
• Notices from your current plan that include your plan ID number, if you have or had health coverage in 2016.
In order to choose a health plan, you’ll probably want to gather the following additional information, which will help you choose a plan which best fits your needs:
• Names of medical facilities anyone in your family uses.
• Names of all family physicians or other providers, including specialists.
• Names of all medications anyone in your family is currently taking.
• Frequency of provider visits for each family member.
• Whether or not each family member smokes.
• Premium and deductible amounts you are able to pay.
HealthCare.gov has tools which allow you to see which doctors, facilities and prescriptions are covered by each plan.
You can get assistance with your application by visiting Oregon HealthCare.gov, by calling the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at 1-855-268-3767, or by locating a Local Enrollment Center.
The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land, and open enrollment only lasts until Jan. 31, 2017. You must enroll by Dec. 15, 2016, for coverage to be effective Jan. 1, 2017.
You must pay your premium monthly in order to maintain coverage—85% of people get help paying their premiums, which can often be less than $75 per month.
Enroll today and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance for you and your family.
Susan Johnson is the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region 10.