Tis The Season… For Health Insurance

Now that Halloween is over, you may have started preparing for the upcoming holidays—but you should also be thinking about health insurance.  November 1 to December 15 is open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace, which is where you can get health insurance if you can’t otherwise get it through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Do you really need health insurance?
When money is tight, it’s easy to overlook the importance of health insurance. But without insurance, you are less likely to get medical care when needed. What you think is a minor ailment could end up lasting longer than necessary, or even result in a major medical condition going undiagnosed. All of which can lead to lost time from work, less money in your pocket, and possibly even a shorter life span. Having and using health insurance helps you stay healthy by preventing illness, and identifying and managing chronic conditions. Health insurance also reduces your health care expenses.

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Health insurance not only pays for doctors visits, but also medical equipment, like blood glucose meters. Every plan differs in coverage, so when choosing a plan, you want to make sure to select one that meets your needs.

You may still be worrying about the cost, but don’t let that stop you from getting a plan. When you apply in Maryland, you may qualify for financial assistance! Maryland Health Connection reports that last year, 90% of people who enrolled in insurance received financial assistance. So why not give it a try? The risk of not having insurance is far worse.

Here’s how you can get insurance now!
Between now and December 15 make sure that you get health insurance.  If you live in Maryland, visit the Maryland Health Connection, click on the “How to Enroll” tab, and sign up for a plan.

If you need help, assistance is always available by clicking the “Find Help” tab.  Local navigators are also available to meet with you in-person, or you can call 1-855-642-8572.

If you live outside of Maryland visit www.healthcare.gov. You can also find local assistance by clicking the “Find Local Help” button.

Use our guides to help make your decision.
We have also developed some consumer resources to help you through this process. I highly recommend that you look at the following resources:

  • Marketplace Health Insurance Financial Help information sheet, which provides some background information on availability of financial assistance.
  • My Smart Choice Workbook helps you choose the best insurance policy for you and your family. We provide two versions, both with the same content. Version 1 is a downloadable file for you to manually enter information. Version 2 works as an online form that will automatically calculate totals once you enter in your numbers.

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