How do I get help with exploring options and enrolling?
The national websites for the Health Insurance Marketplace www.healthcare.gov/ (in English) and www.cuidadodesalud.gov/es/ (in Spanish) are up and running right now, and provide lots of information about the ACA and what information individuals will need to enroll in the new QHPs. Consumers can also see if they may be eligible to apply for Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP.
Enrollment will begin October 1, 2013 and go through March 31, 2014. Details about all the approved Qualified Health Plans are posted on the websites.
The deadline to enroll to have coverage by January, 2014 is December 23, 2013. However, consumers who enroll in a Marketplace plan will have until January 10, 2014 to pay their first month's premium. (Blue Cross Blue Shield consumers in TN will have until January 15, 2014). Coverage will be retroactive to January 1.
The deadline to enroll in the first enrollment period and have Marketplace coverage in 2014 is March 31, 2014.
Other online assistance
Other online assistance such as chat and email or text updates are available on the websites.
For more information, see www.healthcare.gov/help-center/ .
The national toll-free Call Center for individuals is open now, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 360 days a year (closed some federal holidays). Telephone support for 150 languages is available. Call Center staff are able to answer many questions about the Affordable Care Act and the Marketplace, and to assist people with comparing insurance plans and enrolling over the phone.
1-800-318-2596 TTY 1-888-871-6594
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) toll-free hotline provides information to employers about health care options for employees. It is open Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4 PM Central Time.
1-800-706-7893 TTY 1-800-706-7915
In-person assistance is available through Navigators and Certified Assistance Counselors (CACs). These people are specially trained to help people understand their options and compare costs and benefits of different insurance plans so they can make a fully-informed choice. For more information about the Navigator program in Tennessee, see www.seedco.org/about-us/tennesseenavigator/ .
To schedule an appointment for in-person enrollment assistance, call SEEDCO at 901-528-8341 or 1-866-720-1711. You may also contact the following SEEDCO partners: Christ Community Health Center 901-260-8500, Community Development Council 901-725-3124, Memphis Health Center 901-261-2000, Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region 901-725-2008, or Porter-Leath 901-577-4090. Please allow 2-3 days for a call-back.
Paper applications for enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace can be found at www.cms.gov/CCIIO/resources/Forms-Reports-and-Other-Resources/index.html .
There are three different applications/instructions, so be sure to pick the one that applies to you:
1. Individual Short Form (with possible financial assistance)
2. Family (with possible financial assistance)
3. Individual OR Family (without financial assistance)
Libraries and 2-1-1s
Other community organizations such as public libraries have updated information about the Affordable Care Act and how to navigate the Marketplace website. Some library locations host information sessions and enrollment events. Many libraries also have public access internet computers or free wi-fi access for customers to explore their options and apply online. Consumers who wish to use the public computers at Memphis Public Library will need to have a Memphis Public Library card. For information on the Memphis Public Library locations, see www.memphislibrary.org/libraries/map .
Call LINC/2-1-1 at 2-1-1 (alternate numbers: 901-415-2790 or toll-free 1-855-354-4211) for more information on where to get in-person assistance, how to access public computers, etc.