Paris, TN – Nov. 1 marked the first day of the open enrollment period for Tennesseans looking to enroll in or change their plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace for coverage in 2021. With only a week left, it is time for those who need to enroll or renew their plans to do so as soon as possible.
West Tennesseans exploring affordable health insurance options can receive free assistance by making an appointment with a Certified Application Counselor at Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation/Henry County Medical Center.
Marketplace plans must include key benefits like mental health care, maternity care, prescription drug coverage, and hospitalization services. Many marketplace shoppers will qualify for a discount based on their income.
After open enrollment closes on Dec. 15, accessing health insurance in the Marketplace is limited until the next open enrollment period or to those who experience a qualifying life event like job loss, change in household compositions, etc.
5 Tips to Know about Health Insurance Marketplace:
- Deadlines for 2021 coverage – Enroll by December 15 for coverage starting January 1, 2021. Apply now. Be sure to download the checklist to complete your application available at www.healthcare.gov.
- Who is eligible to use the Marketplace? To be eligible to enroll in Marketplace health coverage, you must live in the United States, must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present), and can’t be incarcerated.
- Two kinds of coverage – Depending on income, you may qualify for an insurance plan with tax credits or for Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). See where your income falls.
- What plans cover – All plans cover essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions, and preventive services.
- Plans & costs – You can preview available plans and estimated prices based on income online at www.healthcare.gov before visiting with Tina Umstead.
5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Health Coverage
Here are five ways to make the most of your health coverage:
- Confirm your coverage: Be sure your enrollment is complete. Contact your health plan and/or state Medicaid office. Pay your premium if you have one, so you can use your health coverage when you need it.
- Know where to go for answers: Contact your health plan to see what services are covered, and what your costs will be. Read the Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You from cms.gov to learn about key health insurance terms, like coinsurance and deductible.
- Find a provider: Select a health care provider in your network who will work with you to get your recommended health screenings. Remember you might pay more if you see a provider who is out-of-network.
- Make an appointment: Confirm your provider accepts your coverage. Talk to your provider about preventive services. Ask questions about your concerns and what you can do to stay healthy.
- Fill your prescriptions: Some drugs cost more than others. Ask in advance how much your prescription costs and if there is a more affordable option.
If you have questions or would like to make an appointment, contact Tina Umstead, LPN, Community Health Specialist at (731) 644-8215. Regular office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Some modifications in signing up have been made due to COVID-19.
Located in Paris, TN, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region. Including a 142-bed hospital and other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information: www.hcmc-tn.org