There's still time to enroll in a Market Place insurance plan
Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Market place remains open until March 31. For those looking for affordable health insurance, there is still time to check the North Carolina Market Place to compare options and learn how to qualify for help purchasing a plan.
There are three ways to apply and enroll in Market Place Insurance Plans. Visit the website HealthCare.gov. Consumers can explore answers to many questions by clicking on the LEARN tab. There is also a blue button that lets consumers see and compare insurance plans available in their area and see if they qualify for help paying for a plan of their choice based on their age, family size and income.
A second way to enroll is by calling the 800 number for the Health Insurance Marketplace call center. That number is 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People at the call center can take information over the phone and fill out the application.
For consumers who feel better about talking to a real person that can walk them through the whole process, they can call a local number to make an appointment with a Navigator in their area who will provide accurate, unbiased and totally free assistance. Mountain Projects has received a grant to provide certified Health Care Navigators to serve the seven western-most counties of North Carolina.
“Mountain Projects has hired and trained local people in each county who are taking appointments to assist people wanting help understanding health coverage options,” said Jan Plummer, Navigator program coordinator. These Navigators are there to help consumers navigate the health insurance marketplace; assist consumers in understanding new insurance options; provide free, impartial, unbiased information regarding enrollment; help consumers find the affordable coverage that meets their needs; and provide education and community outreach.
Any group or organization that would like to learn more about the Marketplace and the Affordable Care Act should contact her or their local Navigator to schedule a presentation. Any consumer wanting help understanding what is available for them can make an appointment with a Navigator to get assistance. Call Mountain Projects at 1-800-627-1548 to get the name and phone number for your local Navigator or call Jan Plummer at 828-452-1447.
Mountain Projects is working with other community partners, such as other Community Action Agencies, County Health Departments, County DSS, Good Samaritan and other clinics, some County Extension Offices and Libraries and Departments on Aging or Senior Resource Centers, so appointments with Navigators can be scheduled at convenient locations in each county.
“Open enrollment ends March 31, 2014, so I would encourage anyone who is uninsured to see what is available through the Marketplace before then," said Plummer. "That is also the deadline for getting insurance coverage to avoid possible penalties, although there are several ways for consumers to qualify for exemptions from the penalty."