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Health Insurance Blog - Healthcare.gov

Can you enroll in health insurance right now?

When big changes happen in life, like if you have or adopt a baby, move, or get married, you may be able to enroll in Marketplace health insurance for the rest of 2017 with a Special Enrollment Period.

Image: {Find out if you can enroll today}

Not sure if you qualify?

Note: When you apply, you must confirm the information on your application is true. You may be asked to submit documents to confirm your life change.

What if I don’t qualify?

  • You can apply for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid and CHIP any time, all year. If you qualify, you can enroll immediately.
  • If you’re not eligible for 2017 coverage, the Open Enrollment Period for a 2018 plan runs from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017.

Get more information on getting covered outside Open Enrollment.



POSTED JULY 20, 2017
3 tips to prepare for your first doctor’s visit

Now that you have Marketplace health insurance, here are three things to remember before you visit your doctor:

Image: {Man greets new doctor}

Gather what you’ll need

  • You may be asked to provide your insurance card, photo ID, completed forms they may have sent you before the appointment, and your copay, if you have one.
  • You may need to fill out other forms and read over their privacy policy after you check in.

Know your health history

  • So your doctor better understands your health and lifestyle, consider sharing your family health history and medical records, and any medications you’re taking.
  • You may want to bring someone with you, like a friend or family member.

Prepare questions

  • Before the appointment, write down any questions or concerns you may have, so you don’t forget to ask.
  • If you don’t understand what your doctor is saying, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. They’re there to help!
  • See if your doctor has any written materials you can take home and read, and if there’s a phone number you can call if you come up with questions later.

Get more information on preparing for your first doctor’s visit (PDF).



POSTED JULY 13, 2017
Submit documents to confirm your Special Enrollment Period

If you applied for Marketplace coverage through a Special Enrollment Period because you moved or lost other health coverage, you may be asked to submit documents to confirm you qualify.

Image: {Submit Special Enrollment Period documents}

After you pick a plan, you have 30 days to send the documents.

How do I know if I need to submit documents?

  • After you submit your application, you’ll get details and instructions on your eligibility results screen and in a notice you can download or receive in the mail.
  • These will include information if you have to submit documents.

If you’re losing health coverage

If you moved to a new address & had prior coverage

  • You must provide documents that confirm you moved in the last 60 days AND had health coverage at least one day during the 60 days before your move.
  • See a list of accepted documents.

Ready to submit? You can submit documents 2 ways:



POSTED JULY 06, 2017
4 steps to find the right doctor for you

Most health plans give you the best deal on services when you see a doctor who has a contract with your health plan. You may be able to see doctors who don’t contract with your plan, but visiting an "in-network" provider usually means you'll have lower out-of-pocket costs.

Image: {Four steps to find the right doctor for you}

  1. Identify "in-network" providers that meet your needs.

    • Review your health plan’s provider directory — a list of the doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that your plan contracts with to provide care.
    • If you're looking for something specific, like a doctor who speaks a language other than English or can accommodate a disability, your insurer should be able to guide you in the right direction.
  2. Ask your friends for recommendations.

    • You can ask people you trust if they have any doctors they like.
    • Sometimes you can look up providers online to see what other people in the community say about them.
  3. Pick a provider.

    • Call the provider's office, and ask any questions you may have to help you decide if they’re the right fit.
    • You may also want to know if the office is close to your house or work, and if the appointment times work with your schedule.
  4. Give them a try!

    • Sometimes it takes more than one visit to figure out if a provider is the right one for you.

Get more information on picking a provider (PDF).



POSTED JUNE 29, 2017
Stay healthy this summer with preventive care

This summer, put your health and well-being first by getting the preventive services that are right for you.

Image: {Friends have a healthy summer with Marketplace insurance}

Marketplace health plans cover a set of preventive services — like shots and screening tests — at no cost to you when delivered by a doctor or other provider in your plan’s network.

Why is preventive health care important?

  • Preventive services include health care like screenings, check-ups, and patient counseling that are used to prevent illnesses, disease, and other health problems.
  • Preventive health services can also detect illness at an early stage when treatment is likely to work best.
  • Getting recommended preventive services and making healthy lifestyle choices are key steps to good health and well-being.

What preventive services are right for you?



POSTED JUNE 22, 2017
Recently lose health insurance? You may be eligible for Marketplace coverage

If you or anyone in your household lost qualifying health coverage in the past 60 days or expects to lose coverage in the next 60 days, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. This means you may be able to enroll in Marketplace health insurance for the rest of 2017.

Image: {Get 2017 coverage with a Special Enrollment Period}

What coverage losses count?

If you lost or will lose coverage from any of these sources, you may be eligible to apply through a Special Enrollment Period:

  • Your job
  • Individual health coverage for a plan or policy you bought yourself
  • COBRA
  • Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Medicare
  • Coverage through a family member’s plan

Apply with a Special Enrollment Period

  • To apply, create an account or log into an existing one.
  • When you apply, you must confirm that the information on your application is true. You may be asked to submit documents to confirm your life change, like a letter from your employer or insurance company that supports coverage loss.

Losing qualifying health coverage isn’t the only life event that qualifies you to enroll in a plan outside Open Enrollment. You may also be eligible if you’ve had other life changes — like getting married, moving, or having a baby. Answer a few questions to see if you qualify.



POSTED JUNE 15, 2017
3 ways: report income & household changes

If you have Marketplace health insurance and your income or household changed — like if you had a baby, got a raise, or someone in your household got new job-based coverage — you should update your application as soon as possible.

Image: {3 Ways: Report Income & Household Changes}

See the full list of changes you should report.

Why it’s important to report changes

  • Certain changes may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period, allowing you to change plans outside Open Enrollment.
  • The changes may also affect the savings and coverage options you qualify for.
  • If you don’t report changes, you could wind up owing more—or less—when you file your next federal tax return.

3 ways to report changes to the Marketplace

Get more information on reporting changes after you’re enrolled.



POSTED JUNE 08, 2017
New parents: You have health insurance options

If you gave birth or adopted a baby in the past 60 days, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in or change Marketplace health plans for the rest of 2017. Your new coverage can start the day of the birth or adoption—even if you enroll in the plan up to 60 days afterward.

Image: {New parent qualifies for Special Enrollment Period}

Enroll through a Special Enrollment Period

  • To apply for Marketplace coverage for the rest of 2017 through a Special Enrollment Period, create an account or log into an existing one.
  • You may be asked to submit documents, like a birth certificate, to confirm the birth or adoption.

More on Special Enrollment Periods

  • Having a baby isn’t the only life event that qualifies you to enroll in a plan outside Open Enrollment.
  • You may also be eligible if you’ve had other life changes, like getting married, moving, or losing health coverage you had through a job.
  • Answer a few questions to see if you qualify.

Learn more about getting coverage outside Open Enrollment.



POSTED JUNE 01, 2017
3 health insurance options for college graduates

If you recently graduated from college, you may have new options for getting health insurance. Check out these 3 options for a range of plan types and costs:

Image: {College graduates celebrate health insurance-options}

Buy your own Marketplace plan

You may be eligible to enroll in Marketplace health insurance for the rest of 2017 if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You may qualify if:

  • You’re moving to or from the place you attended school
  • You lose other health insurance, like if your student health plan has run out or you’re dropping off your parent’s plan
  • You experience other life events, like having a baby or getting married

Not sure if you qualify? Answer a few questions to find out.

Get added to your parent’s plan

If your parent’s health insurance plan covers dependents, you can usually be added to their plan. They may be able to add you to an existing Marketplace plan through a Special Enrollment Period, as long as you’re under 26.

See if you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP

If you’re working part time, planning your next move, starting a business, or otherwise aren’t making much money, you may qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). To see if you qualify, enter your household income and size. We’ll tell you the programs you may be eligible for. If you qualify, your coverage can start right away.



POSTED MAY 25, 2017
Move recently? Get a 2017 health plan through a Special Enrollment Period

If you or your family are moving soon (or you moved in the past 60 days), you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in health coverage. This means you may be able to enroll in Marketplace health insurance that covers you for the rest of 2017, even though Open Enrollment is over.

Image: {Couple qualify for health insurance due to move}

What kinds of moves qualify?

  • Moving to a new home in a new ZIP code or county
  • Moving to the U.S. from a foreign country or U.S. territory
  • A student moving to or from the place they attend school
  • A seasonal worker moving to or from the place they live and work
  • Moving to or from a shelter or other transitional housing

Moving only for medical treatment or staying somewhere for vacation doesn’t count.

Apply through a Special Enrollment Period

To apply for Marketplace coverage for the rest of 2017 through a Special Enrollment Period, create an account or log into an existing one. When you apply, you may be asked to submit documents to confirm your move.

Note: Moving isn’t the only life event that qualifies you to enroll in a plan outside the Open Enrollment Period. You may also be eligible if you’ve had other life changes—like getting married, having or adopting a baby, or losing coverage you had from a job. Answer a few questions to see if you qualify.



POSTED MAY 18, 2017

News – Insurance Journal

NAPSLO, AAMGA Members OK Merger; New Wholesale & Specialty Association Is Born
Members of the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) and the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO) have approved a merger of the two associations, creating the new Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA). According to the …

POSTED JULY 25, 2017 4:47 PM
Texas Seeks Applicants for Medical Liability Insurance Underwriting Board
The Texas Department of Insurance is accepting applications through August 31 for the public member positions on the Texas Medical Liability Insurance Underwriting Association Board of Directors. The appointment is for one year. The association is a self-supporting entity that …

POSTED JULY 25, 2017 4:40 PM
Flooding Continues in Northern Illinois as Storms Move Through
Severe thunderstorms that brought heavy rain, hail and strong winds to northern Illinois have exacerbated recent flooding in some areas. The storms moved through Sunday, causing the already-swollen Fox River to rise again after it had previously started receding. Flooding …

POSTED JULY 25, 2017 4:29 PM
Allstate’s Kennelly Joins Hub International as Head of Human Resources
Chicago-based global insurance brokerage Hub International Limited (Hub) has appointed Amber Kennelly chief human resources officer. Kennelly will be responsible for all HUB human resource strategic initiatives including talent acquisition and management, learning and development, employee relations, compensation, employee benefits …

POSTED JULY 25, 2017 3:52 PM
Houston Manufacturer Sued for Race Discrimination
Federal officials have sued Champion Fiberglass Inc., a Houston-area manufacturing company, saying the company violated federal anti-discrimination laws by engaging in systemic discrimination against non-Hispanic applicants. The lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges that a class …

POSTED JULY 25, 2017 3:47 PM
Michigan Franchise Operator Sued for not Providing Religious Accommodation
Sleneem Enterprises LLC, a franchise operator of Tim Horton’s Café and Bake Shop in Romulus, Mich., has been sued by federal officials for allegedly failing to provide religious accommodation to an employee. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission …

POSTED JULY 25, 2017 3:46 PM
Containment on Massive California Fire Increases
A fire that has burned 63 homes and dozens of other structures is now 65 percent contained, authorities said. The fire near California’s Yosemite National Park has burned 78,900 acres, and is still threatening 1,500 structures. Evacuation orders remain in …

POSTED JULY 25, 2017 3:42 PM
GBS Benefits Acquires Volk & Associates in Colorado
Longmont, Colo.-based Volk & Associates has been purchased by GBS Benefits, a member of Leavitt Group. The deal will allow Volk & Associates to provide greater benefits resources for their clients. Volk & Associates has operated as ah insurance and …

POSTED JULY 25, 2017 3:20 PM
G.F.H. Insurance Acquires Peyton, Cheely and Woodle Insurance in Virginia
G.F.H. Insurance Agency Inc., a Richmond, Va.-headquartered insurance broker, has acquired Peyton, Cheely and Woodle Insurance of Richmond, Va., effective June 12, 2017. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Peyton, Cheely and Woodle has a long history in the …

POSTED JULY 25, 2017 1:42 PM
Blaze Rips Through Massachusetts Apartment Complex Under Construction
Fire officials say a blaze tore through an apartment complex under construction in Massachusetts. Waltham Fire Chief Paul Ciccone says the complex’s five buildings collapsed in the early Sunday fire. Ciccone says none of the neighboring buildings caught fire. Crews …

POSTED JULY 25, 2017 12:48 PM

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