by Derrick Vander Waal
SIOUX CENTER, IOWA – Do you need health insurance? Are you confused about how to enroll in Health Insurance Marketplace plans? Do you have questions?
|Jessica Mora, office manager and community care
coordinator for Promise Community Health Center,
provides assistance with paperwork. Mora can answer
questions and help people enroll for health insurance
coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace
as a certified application counselor. The service is
provide free to anyone who would like assistance.
Promise’s bilingual certified application counselors Jessica Mora and Fatima Arteaga can assist you through every step of the process for applying and getting enrolled in a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace offered through the federal website healthcare.gov.
But act soon. The 2016 open enrollment period began Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31. People will need to enroll by Dec. 15 if they want their new or changing health insurance coverage to begin Jan. 1. If they enroll after that date, the coverage will take effect at later dates.
Last year, Promise assisted with 45 enrollments.
“Anybody is welcome to come in – not just Promise patients,” said Mora, office manager and community care coordinator for Promise. “Anybody is welcome to come in, and we can assist them if they have questions with insurance.”
Mora and Arteaga, who have been trained as certified application counselors, can help people navigate the healthcare.gov website. They can help them determine if they are eligible, based on their family’s income, for tax credits to lower the cost of the insurance. They can help them create an account on the Marketplace website. They can review with them the various health insurance options provided by various private companies and explain to them how the plans differ. They can help them determine if their medical providers and specialists are covered in the networks for those plans.
As certified application counselors, Mora said they can’t select a plan for an individual or family, but they can give them the information they need to make that decision.
“We help them compare the plans and see what they want,” she said. “We can help them sign up for the plan that is best for them.”
Through the process, Mora and Arteaga also can determine if people qualify for other programs such as Medicaid and the Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa (hawk-i) program. Those programs provide free or low-cost health insurance coverage to families with limited income or disabilities.
People can call Promise at 712-722-1700 to make an appointment to speak with a certified enrollment counselor. Walk-ins also are accepted.
Promise Community Health Center, headquartered in Sioux Center, is the only Federally Qualified Health Center in the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, dental, prenatal and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org.
WHAT TO BRING CHECKLIST:
People should bring along the following information so that Promise Community Health Center’s certified application counselors can fully assist them in applying and enrolling in a Health Insurance Marketplace plan:
Social Security numbers or document numbers for legal immigrants for everyone in the family’s household applying for insurance coverage.
Employer names, addresses and phone numbers and income information from pay stubs or W-2 forms for every household member who needs coverage.
- Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of their household.