Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans officially opened November 1st and people have until December 15th to enroll in one of the marketplace plans. This year, because of changes made to budget and politics in Congress, the open enrollment period is much shorter than it has been in past years. At the same time, the budget for advertising to let people know that open enrollment has started has been decreased. We encourage our community members to check as soon as possible if they qualify for a plan through ACA. Contrary to what many people think, and despite the efforts of certain members of Congress the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will continue to exist, and provide services to people through 2018. While an ACA plan might not be the best option for everyone in our community it is still important to know about the resources that are available. Many people may qualify for financial assistance to help offset the costs of health insurance premiums. Below we have gathered some resources that can help you learn more about and sign up for ACA marketplace plans.
This link will help you determine if you are eligible for savings through ACA. After answering a few questions about yourself you can learn if you are eligible for a premium saving and then look at how that will affect the cost of plans. Keep in mind that the ACA website is being scheduled for maintenance every Sunday during open enrollment (except December 10th) from 12:00am -12:00pm and may not be available during those times.
Austin Specific Resources
Foundation Communities– will help people navigate the process of signing up for an ACA market plan. They have two locations around Austin and are open all year long to help people navigate the process of health insurance through ACA. No appointment is necessary during November or December. You can email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the two locations below:
5900 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78752
Phone: 737-717-4001 (local Austin #)
2600 W Stassney, Austin, TX 78745
Phone: 737-717-4000 (local Austin #)
Community Care is also helping people navigate the process of signing up for an ACA Marketplace plan. They have many different locations all over Austin which are all open at various times, and they can often meet with you the same day when you call to make an appointment. To schedule an appointment call 512-978-9015 and choose the eligibility option from the menu. The call center to schedule an appointment is open from 7:00am – 7:00pm.
Healthcare.gov – has a feature where you enter your zip code and will let you see all the organizations and people around that are able to assist you in signing up for a plan.
Access to health insurance is important, especially to QPOC who are disproportionately affected by health and safety needs. The Affordable Care Act requires many insurers to provide certain preventive care health services for free. Click here to see all the Preventative Medical Services available at no cost to adults who have an ACA health care plan, click here for services specific to women’s health, and here for services specific to children’s health. Remember that these services are required under the ACA to be covered by your ACA insurance plans at no cost to you. To read more about why Preventative care is important to QPOC click here
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