If you're uninsured or looking for more affordable health
insurance and haven't looked at the Marketplace, open
enrollment is the time to look. During “open enrollment”
you can purchase private health insurance coverage
through the marketplace in each state. Low and moderate
income people may be eligible for help to pay for the
health insurance coverage. People who have affordable
employer provided health insurance or are already covered
by Medicaid or Medicare cannot receive financial help
paying for private health insurance coverage. People who
lose their health insurance may also be able to sign up for new coverage during a special
Do you already have health insurance through the Marketplace?
If you do, you must re-enroll every year or you will be automatically re-enrolled. It is also
important to report any changes to your income to the marketplace.
This is a good time to check your health insurance
coverage and see if it still meets your healthcare needs.
Anyone can change health care plans during open
enrollment, but most people will be re-enrolled
automatically if they take no action.
Carefully read all health insurance notices and updates.
You should check your coverage:
Even if you like your health plan, new plans may be
available and premiums or cost sharing may have changed since last year.
Even if your income has not changed, you could be eligible for more financial assistance
If you have a disability or a health condition, pay attention to possible changes:
Are a broad range of health care providers included in the health plan’s network of
Are there enough medical specialists in the network to meet your needs?
Are needed medications included in the plan’s list of covered drugs?
Is there adequate access to non-clinical, disability-specific services and supports?
Does the plan have service limits, such as caps on the number of office visits for therapy
Are mental health services covered to the same extent that other “physical” health
benefits are covered?
Where to get help?
Health insurance can be complicated. If you or your family member needs assistance with
understanding the options, healthcare.gov can help. This website has information about seeking
assistance in local communities, explanations of health insurance terms, enrollment information
and much more. There is also a 24-hour phone line for consumer assistance at 1-800-318-2596
to call for help.
Each state has health insurance “navigators” to assist individuals with enrollment in health
insurance. Individual health plan information should be available in early November 2014 on the
website. If you would like more information on specific topics, the National Disability Navigator
Resource Collaborative (http://www.nationaldisabilitynavigator.org/) has a comprehensive set of
materials available on disability issues and the Affordable Care Act.