The Coastal Wave
The Coastal Wave is the monthly newsletter of Coastal Health & Wellness.
2020 Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment begins Nov. 1
Open enrollment in the 2020 Health Insurance Marketplace begins Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 15. Those who don’t enroll by Dec. 15 cannot get 2020 coverage unless they qualify for a special enrollment period.
Coastal Health & Wellness (CHW) is here to help and offers free open enrollment application assistance. Depending on an applicant’s income, they may qualify for assistance paying monthly health care premiums.
Plans sold during open enrollment start Jan. 1, 2020.
There are three plan categories: Bronze; Silver; and Gold. The categories show how you and your plan share costs. The categories have nothing to do with quality of care.
“All plans cover essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions and preventative services,” said Michelle Peacock, CHW patient care nurse case manager. “That includes maternity care, mammograms and other preventative care services.”
Applicants cannot be denied health coverage for having pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.
Different plan types are designed to meet different needs. Some plans restrict provider choices or encourage clients to get care from the plan’s network of doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other medical service providers. Other plans pay a greater share of costs when clients use providers outside of the plan’s network.
“It can be confusing. That’s why we’re here,” Peacock said. “Our staff can help you figure out what all this means for you and your family. What you pay for insurance depends on your income.”
Depending on income, applicants may also qualify for an insurance plan with tax credits or for Medicaid/ Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). There is no open enrollment for individuals to apply for Medicaid, CHIP or the Texas Women’s Health Program.
Health Insurance Marketplace is for those who do not have health coverage through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP or another source that provides qualifying health coverage.
Those who have job-based insurance may buy a plan through Health Insurance Marketplace but will pay full price unless their employer’s insurance doesn’t meet certain standards. Most job-based plans do meet the required standards. Those who have
Medicare cannot switch to Health Insurance Marketplace, supplement their coverage with a plan or buy a dental plan.
“The time frame to enroll for coverage is short so don’t let this pass you by. Remember you must enroll by Dec. 15,” Peacock said. “We have certified application counselors at Coastal Health & Wellness to help you along the way if you have questions.”
Galveston County residents with questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace can call CHW at 409-978-4225 or visit the clinic at 9850-C Emmett F. Lowry Expressway in Texas City.