Time to Get Covered

Ed. note: This blog is cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services blog. The original post date was November 25, 2014.

women using a computerIt's November and here in Washington, DC, the weather is finally turning cold and the last of the leaves are falling. It's time to firm up plans for the winter holidays and start thinking about the promise of the new year. For many people, though, it's also time to watch heating costs and holiday spending closely, sometimes making hard decisions about which bills to pay. Parents with children going to college next year are probably thinking about how to afford it. We're also well into flu season, and other such illnesses will be making their way around soon. The last thing anyone should have to worry about right now is health coverage and how they will find a plan that fits their needs and budget.

Luckily, you don't have to — Marketplace Open Enrollment for 2015 started November 15th and ends on February 15, 2015! If you missed the enrollment period for Marketplace health coverage last winter, now is the time to get covered. Why? Because December 15 is the deadline to enroll in coverage that starts January 1, 2015 and the entire enrollment period will end February 15, 2015. So what are you waiting for? Join the 10.3 million Americans who have gained health coverage since the Marketplace began. Go to HealthCare.gov to get started.

If you already have a 2014 plan, Open Enrollment is for you, too. Here are five steps to staying covered:

  1. Review your plan. Your insurance company will send you a letter detailing any changes to your plan for 2015.
  2. Update your information. Go to HealthCare.gov and log into your account. Answer a few questions to get to your 2015 application, then make any needed changes. This is important — even if none of your information has changed, you might be eligible for lower costs than last year! You also can call the Marketplace Call Center at 800-318-2596 to review or make updates over the phone.
  3. Compare 2015 plans. Use the "Enroll To Do List" on HealthCare.gov to compare costs and benefits. With 25% more insurance companies participating in the Marketplace for 2015, you may find new and more affordable plans in your area.
  4. Choose a health plan. You can keep the same plan (as long as it's still offered) or select a new one. If you decide to stay in your current plan, follow the directions to search by that plan's 14-digit ID. You can find the ID in the letter from your insurance company.
  5. Enroll! If you don't finish your application by December 15, you could miss out.

HealthCare.gov is easier to use than ever. A faster, more streamlined application means it takes you less time to select a plan and enter your information, moving you one step closer to coverage for essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions, and recommended preventive care.

The Marketplace is open and waiting for you — it's time to get covered!