Healthcare Enrollment and Sign-Up Coming Soon: Getting Prepared

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To get access to the health insurance marketplace, to be compliant with the new regulations, and to be enrolled in a health plan eligible for governmental subsidies, you must enroll during the open enrollment period – this means signing up and choosing a health insurance plan before the deadline hits early in the new year.

Creating your account at the health insurance marketplace website can be a cumbersome process, especially if you do not have all the necessary documents and information on hand. While assistance is available over the phone, there can be considerable wait times to speak with a navigator, and since it is human nature to procrastinate, the availability of assistance will probably be reduced as the deadlines approach. So getting in early can make things a lot easier.

After you go through the process of signing up at the website, the next step is to choose and enroll in a health plan that works for you and your family. Leaving such a momentous decision to the last moment is not a great idea. There are many plans available with different types of coverage, so it may be difficult to figure out which one is best. The best thing to do is start researching early so you have plenty of time to sign up for the plan that best fits your needs.

Don’t be Afraid to Get Help Choosing a Health Insurance Plan

Help is available for anyone who needs to sign up for a health insurance plan. Unless you get your insurance through your work, TRICARE, Medicare, or other public services, one of the three methods below should get you the assistance you need.

1 – Sign up at your states insurance marketplace website and get help directly from employees there.

State insurance websites offer the plans and programs (such as Medicaid or cost reduction services) available in your state. Phone numbers, email addresses and even a live chat systems are often available with people ready to answer questions and walk you through more difficult parts of the processes.

2 – Contact a health insurance provider directly.

The companies that provide insurance always have people on hand to answer questions and help with the enrollment process. Because there are so many different insurance companies to chose from, this method is best for people who already know which company they want to enroll with or those who don’t mind doing research on multiple companies.

3 – Work with a health insurance agent or broker in order to find the best plan for your needs.

The agents work for the insurance companies and do not charge a fee directly to the consumer – rather, they are compensated by the insurance company (beware of anyone charging upfront fees). Brokers can facilitate enrollment on a wider variety of insurance plans (including plans not in the government marketplace) and can assist with sign-up on online marketplaces and help explore your options for reduced fee insurance policies. They are frequently available for assistance over the phone, and also have physical office locations in many areas.