WOOD RIVER – On March 31, the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace will close its open enrollment period. With less than a week left to enroll in Marketplace plans, individuals are urged to find out their options and enroll before time is up.
To enroll in a plan on the Official Health Insurance Marketplace, individuals can do one of the following:
· Apply online at www.healthcare.gov
· Apply by phone 24/7 by calling 1-800-318-2596
· Apply with an In-Person Counselor from the Madison County Health Department
Madison County Health Department has In-Person Counselors on site to help individuals enroll in health insurance through the Marketplace or “Health Insurance Exchanges.” Individuals who are unsure if they qualify, have specific questions about their policy, or would like to schedule an appointment are encouraged to call Kara Hughes at (618) 296-6098 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While open enrollment for the Official Health Insurance Marketplace will close on March 31, Medicaid and Expanded “Adult ACA” Medicaid enrollment is ongoing. With the Affordable Care Act, states voted to expand their Medicaid program. Illinois was one of the states that chose to expand Medicaid, which created the Adult ACA Medicaid category. This new program allows thousands of newly eligible Illinois residents to enroll in Medicaid. Previously, qualifiers for Medicaid included income along with other factors. With Adult ACA, individuals qualify based solely on their current income. As a guideline, individuals with an income under $16,105 a year will qualify. For a family of four, the maximum income is $32,913 a year.
Individuals who are interested in applying for Adult ACA can enroll online at abe.illinois.gov or call the health department at (618) 296-6098.
After March 31, open enrollment for the Marketplace will not open again until Nov. 15. However, anyone with a Qualifying Life Event can enroll within a special 60-day period. Individuals that have a Marketplace plan and experience a life change should update their Marketplace account at the time of the change. This life change will allow the consumer 60 days to find a new plan if necessary. Consumers can either go online to update their account or they can come to the health department for assistance from an In-Person Counselors.
Qualifying Life Events include:
- Add or remove members of household
- Marriage, birth, or adoption
- Gain or loss of health coverage
- Increase or decrease in income
- Update contact information
Additional changes need to be reported and a full list of Qualifying Life Events can be found on the Madison County Health Department home page at www.madisonchd.org. Individuals unsure of how to update their account are encouraged to stop by the health department for assistance. Throughout April and May, counselors will be available at the health department location for walk-in hours Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Madison County Health Department is located at 101 East Edwardsville Road in Wood River.