Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment

Today, November 15, begins open enrollment in the US Health Insurance Marketplace.

Important Dates

  • Nov. 15, 2014 — Open enrollment begins
  • Dec. 15, 2014 — Enroll before this date to have coverage Jan. 1, 2015
  • Feb. 15, 2015 — Open enrollment ends

Yesterday I received the following email from NAMI, which I have quoted verbatim, about health insurance and the Health Insurance Marketplace.


NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness

It’s time to look at your health care needs and options.

If you don’t have health insurance or are looking for more affordable health insurance and haven’t looked at the Health Insurance Marketplace ― open enrollment is the time to look. During “open enrollment” you can buy private health insurance through the marketplace in each state. Depending on your income you can get financial help to pay for health insurance. If you have affordable employer-provided health insurance or are already covered by Medicaid or Medicare you cannot receive financial help paying for private health insurance coverage.

Do You Already Have Health Insurance through the Marketplace?

If you do, you must re-enroll every year or you will be automatically re-enrolledIt is also important to report any changes to your income to the marketplace.

  • This is a good time to check your health insurance coverage and see if it still meets your health and mental health care needs.
  • Anyone can change health care plans during open enrollment, but most people will be re-enrolled automatically if they take no action.
  • Carefully read all health insurance notices and updates.

Check Your Coverage

  • Even if you like your health plan, new plans may be available and premiums or cost sharing may have changed since last year.
  • Even if your income has not changed, you could be eligible for more financial assistance.

If You Live with a Mental Illness, Pay Attention to Possible Changes

  • Are a broad range of health and mental health care providers included in the health plan’s network of providers?
  • Are there enough medical specialists in the network to meet your needs?
  • Are needed medications included in the plan’s list of covered prescription drugs?
  • Is there adequate access to non-clinical, mental health-specific services and supports?
  • Does the plan have service limits, such as caps on the number of office visits for therapy services?
  • Are mental health and substance use services covered to the same extent as other “physical” health benefits are covered?

Where You Can Get Help

Health insurance can be complicated. If you or your family member needs help understanding your options, Healthcare.gov can help. It breaks down health insurance terminology and will tell you where you can get help in your local community. Each state has health insurance “navigators” to assist individuals with enrollment in health insurance. You can also call the 24-hour Healthcare.gov phone line for help at 1-800-318-2596.

The Kaiser Family Foundation also put together some great resources including a video explaining health insurance and a calculator you can use to figure out about how much health insurance will cost for you if you buy it through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Important Dates to Remember

Nov. 15, 2014
Open enrollment begins

Dec. 15, 2014
Enroll before this date to have coverage Jan. 1, 2015

Feb. 15, 2015
Open enrollment ends

More information on specific topics for each state can be found at the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative.

12 thoughts on “Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment

      • Kitt – I’ve found a wonderful Mental Health Advocate – I’ll come up with the address for you today or tomorrow. Her writing is exquisite and she’s given me permission to use her writing. He’s written some beautiful anti-stigma pieces and I hope we can together bring her into our larger fold of advocates. She’s in Israel and has a limited following but definitely has our passion for advocacy. Stay tuned. I’ll be gone again today but hopefully back tonight. I pray we are able to stay home tomorrow so that I man get some work done. I would love to bring Jill into our wonderful Mental Health Advocacy team.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. dyane November 15, 2014 / 8:34 pm

    Extremely useful information, Kitt. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us!

    Liked by 2 people

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