Michigan Health Centers Ready to Provide Enrollment Assistance During Second Enrollment Period
Friday, November 14, 2014
Enrollment in and renewal of plans offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace opens tomorrow, November 15, and Health Centers across Michigan are ready to help individuals and families understand their options and find the best coverage for them and their families.
“Approximately 200 enrollment staff at Michigan’s Health Centers are trained and certified to answer questions and help community residents enroll in Marketplace plans as well as Medicaid, the Healthy Michigan Plan, and MIChild,” said Julie Tatko, Enabling Services Consultant, Michigan Primary Care Association.
Over 272,000 Michiganders purchased plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace last year, the first-ever Marketplace enrollment period. These individuals can renew their policies, which expire December 31, or shop for a new one by December 15 to avoid gaps in coverage. For individuals who currently don’t have coverage through a Marketplace plan, open enrollment continues until next February 15. Individuals who want their coverage to begin January 1 must be enrolled by this December 15.
Nearly 450,000 Michiganders are benefiting from the affordable coverage provided by the Healthy Michigan Plan, Michigan’s expanded Medicaid program that opened April 1. Enrollment in this program is open year-round, as is enrollment in Michigan’s traditional Medicaid program and MIChild, the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Health Centers, which are health care homes for over 600,000 Michigan residents and 23 million people nationwide, are key players in the effort to enroll the uninsured in coverage and to help them retain and use that coverage to stay healthy. For nearly 50 years, Health Centers have been trusted community providers of quality, comprehensive health care. They also offer services that increase access to care, such as providing enrollment assistance.
For those reasons, the Health Resources and Services Administration has invested in Health Centers to provide outreach and enrollment assistance in the communities they serve. Through the end September 2014, Michigan Health Center outreach and enrollment assisters have successfully helped more than 163,000 people in their efforts to become insured and they are prepared to continue this work in the second open enrollment period and beyond.
Michiganders who need assistance understanding and applying for health insurance are encouraged to contact their local Health Center. Residents are also encouraged to visit MICoverage.org, a project of Michigan Primary Care Association designed to help individuals understand how to apply for coverage in Michigan and then learn about their new benefits and make the most of their health coverage. Having coverage and a place to go for regular primary and preventive care go hand-in-hand to help individuals and families stay healthy.