Monday, September 23, 2013

Hey, Doc: Where Can I Get Help Signing Up in the Marketplace?

We know health reform is big and confusing. Some parts of the law started in 2010. Other parts are rolling out over the next several years. Texas physicians and the Texas Medical Association have carefully studied the law to help you understand what the changes mean to your health care.

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to roll out, Me&My Doctor’s “Hey Doc” series will answer your frequently-asked questions, as well as some you might not have thought to ask.

Check out parts one and two in the series.


Q. Where can I get help signing up?

Besides using the official marketplace website Healthcare.gov to apply for health insurance, the federal government has created ways for you to get live and in-person help.

You can call a toll-free number, (800) 318-2596, and talk to a trained customer service representative and get help in 150 languages. Online chats are also available.

Another way to get assistance is through community health centers. Texas has more than 60 centers where you can get help with information and enrollment. Here is a list: www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2013tables/outreachandenrollment/tx.html.

You can also search for a “navigator” in your community by calling (800) 318-2596 or by going to Healthcare.gov. Navigators are organizations like a local United Way branch that the federal government has funded and trained to help you. The navigator will guide you through the process of selecting a health plan that’s right for you, figuring out if you qualify for tax credits or state programs, and preparing your electronic and paper applications. Here’s a list: www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Marketplaces/Downloads/navigator-list-8-15-2013.pdf

Be Covered Texas also hosts local events to help families learn about the marketplace plans and programs and enroll right then and there.

Both the federal government and Be Covered Texas have Facebook, email, and texting campaigns that you can sign up for to receive updates on the marketplace and reminders of important deadlines.

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