Make a health care enrollment list and check it twice
Enrolling in health insurance can get complicated. Thats why its important to gather the information you need ahead of time to eliminate headaches.
To save time and avoid repeat trips to your assister, collect the following information in a folder as you prepare to apply for health insurance through HealthCare.gov:
n Information about your household size. Figure out who in your household should apply before you start your application.
n Home and/or mailing addresses for everyone applying for coverage.
n Information about everyone applying for coverage, like addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers.
n Information about the professional help you apply (if youre getting help completing your application), such as name, job title and contact information.
n Document information for legal immigrants.
n Information on how you file your taxes. (For example, if youre self-employed, you may pay estimated taxes each quarter.) You might want to bring your last tax filing.
n Employer and income information for every member of your household (for example, from pay stubs or W-2 forms).
n Your best estimate of what your household income will be in 2017.
n Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household.
n A completed Employer Coverage Tool for every job-based plan you or someone in your household is eligible for. (Youll need to fill out this form even for coverage youre eligible for but dont enroll in.)
n Notices from your current plan that include your plan ID number, if you have or had health coverage in 2016.
n Order to choose a health plan, youll probably want to gather the following additional information, which will help you choose a plan which best fits your needs:
n Names of medical facilities anyone in your family uses.
n Names of all family physicians or other providers, including specialists.
n Names of all medications anyone in your family is currently taking.
n Frequency of provider visits for each family member.
n Whether or not each family member smokes.
n Premium and deductible amounts you are able to pay.
HealthCare.gov has tools which allow you to see which doctors, facilities, and prescriptions are covered by each plan.
Here are a few other things to consider.
n You can get assistance with your application by visiting Oregon_HealthCare.gov, by calling the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace from 8a.m. to 5p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-855-268-3767, or by locating a Local Enrollment Center.
You must enroll by Dec. 15, 2016, for coverage to be effective Jan. 1, 2017.
The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land and open enrollment only lasts until Jan. 31, 2017.
You must pay your premium monthly in order to maintain coverage 85 percent of people get help paying their premiums, which can often be less than $75 per month.
Susan Johnson is regional director for the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Region 10.