Healthcare.gov is now open for people to sign up for health insurance, or switch their health care plan for calendar year 2019. From November 1 to December 15, Floridians may select a plan for coverage that begins January 1, 2019.
Visit http://www.coveringflorida.org call (877) 813-9115 to schedule an appointment with a Health Insurance Navigator or find local walk-in times at area locations.
For consumers who have health insurance through Healthcare.gov, if you take no action you will be automatically re-enrolled in your current plan. If for some reason it is no longer offered, you will be enrolled automatically into a similar plan.
Even if you are happy with your current coverage, there are several important reasons that you should still visit Healthcare.gov during open enrollment:
- Your income and employment information may be out of date. Updating this information will ensure that any financial assistance you receive is calculated accurately - and help keep things simple for you during income tax season.
- Your insurance company may have made changes to your coverage. Insurers sometimes change things like hospital networks and co-payment rates. Log in to make sure your plan still meets your needs and your budget.
- New plans may be available that better suit your needs. Even if you were satisfied with your 2018 plan, it's still a good idea to review any new options for 2019 coverage on the marketplace.
If you live in Florida and do not have health insurance, you may use www.HealthCare.gov to apply for health coverage for 2019. Open enrollment is an opportunity to compare the various health plans available to you and find out if you qualify for financial assistance. During last year's open enrollment period, over 90 percent of Florida customers were eligible for some form of financial assistance made available through the Affordable Care Act. Every plan available on www.HealthCare.Gov is required to cover certain essential benefits, such as prescription drug coverage, doctors visits, hospital stays, primary care, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I have trouble with my application, is there anyone to help me?
Live representatives with www.HealthCare.Gov are available at 1-800-318-2596.
What if I have health insurance through my job?
The Marketplace is designed for people whose jobs do not provide health care benefits, or individuals who are self-employed and need to buy their own insurance. If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it. You're considered to have what the Affordable Care Act qualifies as minimum essential coverage. You don't need to change to a Marketplace plan in order to avoid the individual mandate penalty.
Where can I get local advice about my health care options?
Authorized navigators can help you enroll in the Marketplace. For more information on Health Insurance Navigators, visit: http://www.coveringflorida.org/ or call (877) 813-9115 to schedule an appointment or find local walk-in times at area locations.
Health Insurance Navigator Locations (available by appointment):
St. Petersburg Main Library – The Family Healthcare Foundation
3745 9th Avenue North, St. Petersburg
St. Anthony’s Hospital – The Family Healthcare Foundation
1201 5th Ave North, Suite #130, St. Petersburg, FL, 33705
Morton Plant Hospital Plant Hospital – The Family Healthcare Foundation
300 Pinellas St., Clearwater, FL, 33756
What if I have Medicare or Medicaid?
If you receive coverage through Medicare or Medicaid, you do not need to apply for health insurance through the Marketplace. If you have Medicaid, you may have heard that the Affordable Care Act improves this low-cost health care program. It is true that the health care reform law provides states with incentives to expand Medicaid eligibility and improve benefits. Unfortunately, Governor Rick Scott and the Florida state legislature have refused to embrace Medicaid expansion - jeopardizing the ability of many low-wage workers in Florida to receive care through Medicaid. Congressman Crist continues to fight for Medicaid expansion in Florida.
What about if I own a small business?
The new Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) simplifies the process of buying health insurance for your small business. The advantages of using SHOP include:
- You control the coverage you offer and how much you pay toward employee premiums.
- You can compare health plans online on an apples-to-apples basis, which helps you make a decision that's right for your business.
- You may qualify for a small business health care tax credit worth up to 50% of your premium costs.
- You can still deduct from your taxes the rest of your premium costs not covered by the tax credit.
Call now to get your SHOP and small business questions answered by a customer service representative at 1-800-706-7893 or (TTY: 1-800-706-7915). The call center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.