The end of the HealthCare.gov open enrollment period is just around the corner. Whether you are new to the HealthCare.gov exchange or returning, we want to make sure that Arkansas residents who want coverage through the exchange are aware of the Dec. 15 deadline so they don’t miss the opportunity to sign up for 2019 coverage.
The focus for this year, as it was for last year, is to provide a seamless enrollment experience for HealthCare.gov consumers. We’ve made important improvements to customer service this year. We streamlined the application to simplify the process and improved the website’s content to make it easier to understand. Healthcare.gov has performed optimally, consumers have been able to easily access enrollment tools to compare plans and prices, and the call center’s consumer satisfaction rate has remained at 90 percent.
Since open enrollment began on Nov. 1, more than 22,000 Arkansas consumers have selected a plan in the federally facilitated exchange.
Here are the three things Arkansas consumers need to know:
1. The deadline to sign up for coverage is fast approaching.
Arkansas consumers have until Dec. 15 to sign up for coverage that starts on Jan. 1. Arkansas residents who don’t enroll by the deadline can’t get 2019 coverage unless they qualify for a special enrollment period. Consumers can visit HealthCare.gov and CuidadodeSalud.gov to preview 2019 plans and prices and sign up for coverage today.
2. Now is the time for Arkansas consumers to go to HealthCare.gov or CuidadodeSalud.gov to update their information or add it for the first time, and select the plan that best meets their needs.
We are encouraging Arkansas residents who need health insurance to join the millions of people who have gone to HealthCare.gov and found health insurance. The plans on HealthCare.gov are comprehensive and offer:
*Annual checkups at no extra cost.
*Coverage for doctor visits, prescription drugs, and certain preventive care with no out-of-pocket costs.
3. Nationally, average premiums have decreased and the number of plans have increased on the federal exchange for 2019.
For the first time since Healthcare.gov started offering coverage, average premium rates for a benchmark silver plan in 2019 have gone down across the 39 states that use the federal platform. Consumers have more plans to choose from to find the best fit for themselves. There are 23 more issuers on the federal exchanges for 2019 than there were in 2018. And 29 issuers are expanding their service area into new counties. Consumers should come back to HealthCare.gov to compare plans and prices. They may be able to find a plan that saves them money and better meets their health needs.
Help is available! Arkansas consumers can get help filling out their application in three ways:
*By phone. Consumers can call the exchange’s call center at 1-800-318-2596.
*In-person help. Consumers can use the “find local help” tool on HealthCare.gov to see if they can get in-person help in their community.
*Health insurance agents and brokers. Agents and brokers can help consumers enroll through the exchange or handle the whole process. Search for health insurance agents and brokers by using the “find local help” tool.
Don’t delay. If you want coverage by Jan. 1, you must sign up by Dec. 15.