Applying and Enrolling in Coverage

Q: How do I apply for coverage and enroll in a health plan through the marketplace?

A: Starting November 1, 2016, you will be able to file a marketplace application online, by phone (through a toll-free call center), by mail, or in person (with accommodations for people with disabilities). Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2017. The marketplace will automatically tell you if you qualify for discounts or qualify to participate in state programs based on your income. Then you can choose the health plan that’s right for you through the online plan comparison tool.

Q: What items do I need to have before enrolling?

A: Before beginning the enrollment process, you should have:

  • Social Security number (SSN)
  • Document number (if you’re an eligible immigrant who wants health coverage)
  • Birth date
  • Paystubs, W-2 forms, or other information about your income
  • Policy/member numbers for any current health coverage

Q: How do I use http://www.healthcare.gov/ to apply for marketplace coverage?

A: You can enroll in health coverage in just four steps using http://www.healthcare.gov/.

  1. Set up an account. You’ll provide some basic information to get started, like your name, address, and email address.
  2. Fill out the online application. You’ll provide information about you and your family, like household income, household size, current health coverage information, and more. This will help the marketplace find options that meet your needs.
  3. Compare your options. You’ll be able to see all the options you qualify for, including private insurance plans and free and low-cost coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The marketplace will tell you whether you qualify for lower costs on your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs on deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. You’ll see details on costs and benefits before you choose a plan.
  4. Enroll. After you choose a plan, you can enroll online and decide how you pay your premiums to your insurance company. If you or a member of your family qualifies for Medicaid or CHIP, a representative will contact you to enroll.

Q: What if I don’t have access to a computer so that I can visit http://www.healthcare.gov/?

A: There will be people in local communities who can give you personal help with your choices. You can also call a toll-free number, 1-800-318-2596, and talk to a trained customer service representative in 150 languages about the marketplace.

Q: How do I get help enrolling in the marketplace?

A: The marketplace will offer several kinds of assistance to help you apply for coverage and choose the plan that’s right for you, including online questions and answers, online chat, a toll-free call center, as well as people in your community who are trained and certified to help you apply and enroll (starting November 1, 2016).

In keeping with its mission to improve and save lives through compassionate quality health care, Methodist Health System offers free assistance to anyone wanting to enroll for coverage through the national health insurance exchange program.

Methodist has 10 Certified Application Counselors (CAC) who are available by appointment to meet with individuals to discuss options, answer questions, and help navigate the enrollment process. CAC assistance is available at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, and two locations at Methodist Richardson Medical Center. Call the numbers below to request an appointment. Methodist has also created a new insurance marketplace web page to provide further assistance: www.methodisthealthsystem.org/insurance-marketplace.