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Open Enrollment Approaches for Families Who Need Insurance

Have a Baby?  Get Insured.  Open Enrollment Approaches
Have a Baby? Get Insured. Open Enrollment ApproachesK. Pearson Brown

Some life changing events are good -- like the birth of a child or marriage, but some are not so good, like the loss of a job or divorce. The one thing that all of these events have in common is that they qualify you for open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, affectionately known as Obamacare. Life qualifying events that change your insurance status make you eligible to get enrolled in one of the plans in the Marketplace.

This is great news for anyone who needs insurance and is eligible to enroll. While the news may have painted the program as having a myriad of options which may seem confusing to some, there are many resources available to assist those who want help deciphering what ACA means to them and what plans would be best for them, depending on their family situation and other factors.

A go-to site for anyone who might want to enroll come November, when open enrollment begins, is http://www.getcoveredamerica.org. There are also many online chats and even YouTube videos to make sense of it all.

If you have an uninsured friend or family member, let them know that insurance is important—and affordable. Encourage them to visit GetCoveredAmerica.org. They may qualify to enroll now if they have experienced a “Qualifying Life Event.” If not, tell them to mark their calendar for November 15th, 2014 — that’s when the Marketplace opens again for 2015 coverage. Help is available if they have questions.

Don’t delay. Open Enrollment does not last forever. To clarity, Open Enrollment is the period of time when you can enroll in a health insurance plan in the Marketplace and check to see if you qualify for help paying for your insurance.

The great news is that more than half of all uninsured Americans can get covered for under $100 a month. And four in five people, who have already signed up, got help paying for their insurance.

Open enrollment for 2015 starts on November 15th, but certain changes in your life, called “qualifying life events,” could allow you to get covered through the health insurance marketplace now.

GetCoveredAmerica can answer questions about qualifying life events. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) remain available to everyone eligible throughout the year. But people can also enroll if they've had a "qualifying life event" -- meaning they've gotten married or divorced, had a baby, adopted a child, placed a child up for adoption, moved residences, gained citizenship, left incarceration, graduated from college or lost their health coverage. In most cases, once such an event occurs, a person has a 60-day window to get coverage.

For your specific qualifying life event, check out these resources:

o Getting Married: https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/after-i-do/

o Having a Baby: https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/happy-mothers-day-to-new-moms/

o After Divorce or Job Loss: https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/life-hands-lemons/

o College graduation: https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/congrats-grad/

Enrolling is easy. Visit GetCoveredAmerica.org to learn how to enroll in health insurance and to get answers to common questions. The site’s content is also shareable via Facebook and Twitter at Facebook/GetCoveredAmerica and Twitter.com/GetCoveredUS.

Financial help is available. In fact, over half of Americans under 35 could get covered for under $50 a month! More than half of all uninsured Americans can get covered for under $100 a month. And 4 in 5 people, who have already signed up, got help paying for their insurance. Use the “Get Covered Calculator” to see how much help you could qualify for to cover your monthly insurance cost. http://www.getcoveredamerica.org/calculator/ (Here’s an embeddable version of the cost estimator: https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/calculator/embed/)

If you get stumped with your application, local help is available. Use our Get Covered America 101 page (http://www.getcoveredamerica.org/get-covered-101) to find answers to the most commonly asked questions, or our locator tool to find an expert who can help. By entering your zip code, you will get the names and phone numbers of experts who can help you complete your application and understand your health insurance options. http://www.getcoveredamerica.org/locator/