The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has revamped the Health Insurance Marketplace’s mobile search function to be more user-friendly as the new open enrollment season begins in November.
“According to ComScore, 1 in 5 millennials access the internet exclusively through mobile devices. Last year, consumers could easily enroll in coverage at HealthCare.gov through mobile devices, but if they wanted to actually shop around and compare plans, the mobile interface could be difficult and time consuming,” CMS shared in a news release this week. “This year, consumers will find an end-to-end, mobile optimized experience, including a new state-of-the-art shopping process that for the first time offers improved ability to comparison shop on their phone or tablet. Rather than clicking on tiny boxes or zooming in on hard-to-read screens, consumers will now find intuitive navigation and a streamlined interface to compare plans.”
Consumers can apply for health coverage online at HealthCare.gov, and Enroll Michigan is here to help! Find a Navigator in your area by clicking here. Open Enrollment runs November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. Health coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2017 for consumers who sign up by December 15, 2016.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell issued the following statement regarding the uninsured rate – and it’s great news!
“Under the Affordable Care Act, our nation’s uninsured rate dropped in the first quarter of the year to 8.6 percent – the lowest level on record. Because of the law, 20 million more Americans had quality, affordable coverage as of early 2016. … Every American is now free from the fear of being denied coverage due to a health condition.”
Our navigators continue to assist in enrolling Michiganders into the comprehensive health coverage plans under the Affordable Care Act.
Read more at http://bit.ly/2cwDU6F.
Enroll Michigan has been awarded $1.2 million from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to support local, in-person assistance to help consumers navigate, shop, and enroll in Health Insurance Marketplace and Healthy Michigan Plan coverage options. Enroll Michigan has federally certified Navigators placed throughout 10 regions of the state and continues to be the only entity providing outreach, education, and enrollment assistance statewide.
Navigators are trained individuals and organizations who help consumers, small businesses, and employees as they look for health coverage options and financial assistance through the Marketplace.
“Enroll Michigan has been integral in helping Michigan consumers understand the Affordable Care Act and their health coverage options,” said Enroll Michigan Executive Director Dizzy Warren. “We have created strategic alliances with community-based organizations across the state that continue to provide outstanding service to the individuals and families we serve.”
Consumers interested in getting help understanding their options in the Health Insurance Marketplace can find a local navigator at EnrollMichigan.com or by calling our Lansing headquarters at (517) 367-7293. Open Enrollment for 2017 runs from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017. Outside the Open Enrollment Period, consumers generally can enroll in a health insurance plan only if qualified for a Special Enrollment Period. People qualify if they have certain life events, like getting married, having a baby, or losing other health coverage.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a total of $63 million in Navigator grant awards to returning and new organizations. The full list can be viewed at http://go.cms.gov/2chwTWZ.
“I was able to enroll a young couple in their twenties into the Healthy Michigan Plan. I also was able to answer follow up questions about how to use their insurance specific to transgender needs surrounding prescriptions and going out of state for services. The couple left feeling like they knew how to utilize their insurance, how to get hormones and how to find a doctor that is LGBT friendly. I was also able to refer them to a program specific to transgender needs and resources through the University of Michigan.”
-Kristi Pung, Mid-Michigan Navigator Coordinator, Enroll Michigan
“At the Enrollment event January 31, I assisted a woman (58 years old, Caucasian, divorced) from Kentwood, MI. She had been laid off last year and just recently picked up a job as a bus driver. Since she’s considered a seasonal employee, she was not offered health coverage through her employer. After going through her eligibility, I was able to get her enrolled in Medicaid. She was so pleased with how smooth the enrollment process was, she said “Wow, that’s it, that was fast! I’m not good with computers, I’m glad you all are here to help people out.” She was glad there was an event being held on a Sunday.”
-Kalena Murphy, Southwest Navigator Coordinator, Enroll Michigan
Imagine having a sick child at home and not having healthcare coverage to take your child to a regular doctor appointment. One consumer was facing that problem until our Southeast Navigator Coordinator, Latia Jenkins, was able to get the consumer and her three children enrolled in a healthcare plan through Healthy Michigan. Due to the consumer’s work schedule, Latia met with her on a Saturday at a nearby Subway in the consumer’s local neighborhood to assist the consumer with enrolling her and her three children in healthcare coverage. “When you have a passion to help others you will go the extra mile and there are no set-in-stone business hours,” says Latia.
Geralyn (left) is not new to the Marketplace but still needs assistance when it comes to figuring out what insurance coverage will fit her health coverage needs. At our health coverage enrollment event at Wayne County Community College Downriver, she was able to get a clear understanding regarding her health plan options for 2016. She was also able to select a health plan provider that will cover her prescriptions. Geralyn says that she will continue to use our services each year, and she’s happy that there are navigators to assist in the enrollment process.
Julie is a private school teacher with Type-2 Diabetes, who couldn’t afford the pre-condition $2,000+ premium before the Affordable Care Act. She asked her employer not to increase her salary so that she could be eligible for a county health plan and not have to leave the job that she loved to find one that provided healthcare coverage. Through the Marketplace, with tax credits, she obtained a Silver plan that cost her $18 monthly. And instead of having to pay $100 per bottle of insulin as before, she now only pays $40 per bottle – a huge saving for the three bottles that she needs monthly.
We purchased a private insurance that was $490 a few years ago for the two of us, then it was $827. Then this year it was going to be over $1000 per month for the premium. So we decided to look at the Marketplace and Mike had to talk me into it.
So for us to get insurance for that price ($650 less/month) on such a limited income was extremely important. This will make it so we can actually live our life, instead of having to using money saved for retirement. And we could keep our doctors with the plans we chose. It’s hard when you’re on a fixed income — what you plan on and then what happens in the years to come is really different. Everything costs more, and especially as you get older all health things start to cost more.
This was just so nice. Its been a godsend to us, really. We are extremely happy. And we are actually getting better coverage, we had an 80/20 but they cover more of the procedures than our previous plan. Once you’re over 60 you have a lot more tests.
Joyce came to me last year to look for insurance. She had tried on her own at first, and had struggled a bit to get through the application on her own. She was dealing with end of life care for her husband, and eventually the death of her husband. [Read more…]
Enroll Michigan has divided our state into 10 regions to make sure there is a Navigator Agency nearby to assist you at no cost. To find a navigator agency near you, just identify what region you live in using the map and then review the navigator agencies listed as serving your region of the state. The “Regional Lead” staff person for your part of the state is also