Buying health insurance can be challenging. So many choices, levels and decisions. Free help with understanding and selecting a plan will be available on Fridays, Dec. 1, 8 and 15, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care-Bucyrus Campus, 2450 W. North Ave.
An insurance expert with the Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics will answer questions and explain health insurance choices, including state and local programs and the marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act. People currently uninsured can receive help enrolling in either Medicaid/BadgerCare, Medicare or a plan within the marketplace, depending on their income level. He can also answer questions about eligibility or insurance terms, and offer options for people who are losing coverage or have had a life-changing event.
People are asked to come to the help sessions with a list of their medications and doctors and their estimated income. Those not born in the U.S. should bring immigration documents, such as a permanent resident card or naturalization certificate to photocopy at the time of application.
If you would like to reserve a time for insurance consultation, call 920-707-1423.
Here is some key information for people who purchase health insurance on their own rather than getting it through an employer:
• Open enrollment in states using the federal marketplace continues until Dec. 15 for coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2018.
• People who qualify for tax credits to help pay for premiums or subsidies to lower their deductibles and co-payments will receive them.
• Marketplace insurance will continue to offer comprehensive coverage and cannot reject someone due to pre-existing medical conditions.
• At least one insurer will offer marketplace coverage in every sign-up area.
• Selecting a health plan will be even more important this year for people who get subsidized coverage so they can avoid being automatically enrolled in a plan they don’t like. Auto-renewal date is expected to be Dec. 16, the day after open enrollment ends.