In a few days, the Health Insurance Marketplace “storefront” will open for individuals to enroll in health coverage or switch plans for 2015. While the Marketplace will remain open until Feb. 15, 2015, the deadline for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2015 is Dec. 15, 2014. Even though this gives you a month to enroll, Blue Cross is encouraging consumers to select their plans early to avoid the last-minute rush that can result in longer wait times to enroll. Have you ever waited until the night before Thanksgiving or Christmas to go grocery shopping? Stores are overwhelmed and the wait in line can take hours. The same happened on The Marketplace last year as consumers rushed to enroll in health insurance at the last minute. Unlike grocery shopping, however, choosing the right health insurance takes time and preparation. To ensure you select a plan that meets you or your family’s health and financial needs – you need to research plan options, estimate costs and gather all the necessary information to enroll ahead of time. So even though the Marketplace doesn’t open for a couple days, it’s important to start doing your homework now. Don’t know where to start? HealthCareReformBasics.com is an interactive web site to help Michigan residents with some of their basic questions:
- What is health care reform?
- Why should I enroll?
- How much will it cost? Can I get financial help?
- Do I need to re-enroll? How do I enroll?
Once you’ve answered all of your questions, the site has step-by-step instructions for preparing to buy. You select the description that best fits you, print a worksheet to record your information and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete your worksheet. Your health and finances are important. Avoid making a rushed decision by preparing to buy health insurance ahead of time, and enrolling early-on. To start exploring 2015 health insurance options, visit bcbsm.com/myblue or call health plan adviser at 1-855-237-3501. Tanel Teemusk