DETROIT, Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Individuals who want to be certain they have health coverage starting on New Year's Day must enroll in a health plan by Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016 under guidelines of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"Consumers should be proactive as they plan for health coverage for the coming year," said Claudia Swink, director of individual business for Health Alliance Plan (HAP). "Right now is the critical time for consumers to learn about plan options and choose a plan that works for their specific needs, helping them gain better control of their own health and wellness."
If you enrolled via the Marketplace last year you will need to visit the Marketplace again to make modifications. You cannot go to an insurance carrier or an agent and ask them to change your plan on the Marketplace. They can assist you in the process, but they can't change it for you.
If you are currently in a health plan, you should have received a letter from your insurance carrier notifying you that it's time to renew and alerting of any actions you need to take. Before you make these changes consider the following:
- If you are already in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) plan and it is being offered in 2017 and you want to stay in it, you don't need to do anything.
- If a new plan has been selected for you and you like it, you don't need to do anything.
- If you purchased a Marketplace Plan last year and your circumstances have changed, you may qualify for a subsidy. Visit the Marketplace or your health insurance carrier to check your eligibility.
- If you purchased a Marketplace Plan last year and qualified for federal assistance, you need to double-check that your income has been verified so that you can continue to receive federal assistance. Loss of eligibility can result in a significant out of pocket price increase.
- Consumers who purchased a "catastrophic" plan (one that covers the minimum required benefits) directly through the Marketplace should confirm that they meet eligibility guidelines to enroll in that plan in 2017.
"People who decide to change plans must be certain to enroll in the new plan first and confirm the date their coverage takes effect before cancelling their current plan," Swink said. "HAP has experts available to assist customers in determining the best plan to meet their needs and that of their family whether they are purchasing an on-Marketplace plan or one that is sold directly by the carrier."
Buying health insurance for the first time can be an intimidating process. Start by asking yourself:
- How much will this plan really cost me? Remember to factor in your deductibles, co-pays and other out-of-pocket costs.
- Is my doctor in the network?
- If I don't currently have a primary care doctor, am I picking a plan in which the doctors and hospitals are geographically convenient for me?
- Do I anticipate any specific health care services for me or my family in the coming year? If so, how much of those costs will be covered by my plan?
- Are office visits covered from day one, or do I need to meet a high deductible first?
- Find out if your prescriptions will be covered on the plan you intend to purchase.
HealthPlus is Now HAP
As a result of the merger between HAP and HealthPlus earlier this year, HealthPlus members will be enrolled into a comparable HAP plan and were notified by mail earlier this year about new plan details. However, former HealthPlus members may call (855) WITH HAP with questions, for help or learn about other options for 2017. As a HAP member, they will have access to an expanded network of providers that includes some of the finest facilities in Michigan.
Knowledgeable HAP Personal Alliance representatives are available by phone at (855) WITH HAP or (855) 948-4427 to answer questions whether you are interested in purchasing directly through HAP or enrolling in a Marketplace plan. You can also enroll online by visiting HAP.org and can get answers to your questions by email or through live chat.
Or you can meet with HAP representatives face to face at the following locations:
- Detroit office located at 2850 W. Grand Boulevard
- Southfield office located at 21700 Northwestern Highway
- Flint office located at 2050 S. Linden Road
About Health Alliance Plan
Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to more than 675,000 members and companies of all sizes. For more than 50 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations to enhance the health and well-being of the lives we touch. HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid, Self-Funded and Network Leasing. HAP excels in delivering award-winning preventive services, disease management and wellness programs, and personalized customer service. For more information, visit hap.org.
SOURCE Health Alliance Plan (HAP)