With the third open-enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act underway, Enroll America is introducing a new tool to help Michiganders compare the health coverage options available to them on the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Get Covered Plan Explorer provides consumers with a list of plans available in their area based on reported budget, family size, and medical needs and estimates the respective premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and financial assistance available for each plan.
“The enrollment community and consumers in Michigan have been hungry for a tool to help navigate the new plans and prices available to them on the Marketplace,” said Erin Knott, Michigan State Director for Enroll America. “The Get Covered Plan Explorer empowers consumers to better understand their health coverage options so they can evaluate and compare the plans available, and make informed choices for the health and financial security of themselves and their families.”
When using the tool, consumers will answer a few simple questions about their household, family size, and health status. Then the tool will generate a list of all Marketplace plans available, allowing consumers to find plans by premium, maximum out-of-pocket cost, and whether a preferred doctor and hospital is covered under the plan. Uniquely, the Get Covered Plan Explorer uses self-reported information on the consumer’s health status to estimate the total annual cost so they can find the plan that best fits their health care needs and budget. After comparing plans, consumers can go on to start the enrollment process online, or can schedule an appointment with an in-person assister to receive free local help.
“In the past, the plan selection process was confusing and sometimes consumers ended up with a plan that didn’t fit their health care needs. The Get Covered Plan Explorer helps consumers cut through the clutter and find the best option for them,” said Whitney Litzner, Public Health Coordinator for ACCESS. “Now when consumers in the Tri-County area come to us looking for answers about their health coverage options, we can point them to the tool to get them started on the right path to finding quality, affordable coverage.”
The Get Covered Plan Explorer is not only available to consumers visiting the Marketplace for the first time, but also to consumers who are renewing their coverage. While most consumers who have Marketplace coverage will be automatically renewed in the same plan in 2016, Enroll America recommends shopping around because there are new plans and prices available. While open enrollment runs until the end of January, consumers who are re-enrolling in coverage should take action by December 15 to ensure a smooth transition to coverage in 2016.