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Finding Coverage that Works for You on the Health Insurance Exchange

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Five things to Know and Do Ahead of the Health Insurance Open Enrollment Deadline

By Reggie Newson, chief advocacy officer at Ascension Wisconsin
Originally published on 11/4/2020 at 12:15 p.m.

If you knew you could better manage a chronic health condition, receive timely preventive care services from a trusted personal doctor and increase your life expectancy all with one product, would you do it?

Who wouldn’t?

One product that can help you manage your health, prevent negative health outcomes and keep you feeling your best sounds like magic, but what we’ve described above is health insurance. Best of all, access to health insurance is something you have right now during the open enrollment period on the federal health insurance exchange.

Where can I get health insurance?

It’s time for Wisconsin residents to make health plan decisions for next year. Open enrollment is happening now at HealthCare.gov. If you do not receive health insurance through your employer and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or Tricare, you can find an insurance plan on HealthCare.gov.

Through December 15, Wisconsin residents who do not have health insurance for 2021 can visit HealthCare.gov to enroll in a plan that best fits your needs.

Health insurance is critical during a global pandemic

As our country navigates a global health pandemic, it is more important than ever to have health insurance coverage. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 26.1 million people did not have health insurance at any point during 2019.

In Wisconsin, seven percent of residents were without health insurance for part or all of the past year. This represents approximately 408,000 of our friends and neighbors. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, black and Hispanic Wisconsinites were less likely than white Wisconsinites to have health insurance for the entire past year (81 percent and 87 percent vs. 94 percent, respectively).

Likewise, residents living in poor and near-poor households were less likely to have health insurance for the entire past year than residents living in non-poor households (87 percent and 88 percent vs. 96 percent, respectively).

Now is the time to take action.

What do I need to know before enrolling for a health insurance exchange plan?

At Ascension Wisconsin, we are committed to delivering on our mission to provide compassionate, personalized care to all, and to achieve 100 percent access and 100 percent coverage in the communities we serve. Every day, our caregivers in Wisconsin and across the country treat people who are eligible for insurance. Our financial counselors help people enroll in the plan that’s most appropriate for them. Financial help is available for those who qualify, such as subsidies that lower monthly bills and reduced out-of-pocket costs, like copayments and deductibles.

1.   Know the deadline

The deadline to enroll in a health plan on the federal health insurance exchange is Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

2.   Gather your information

Before you start the application process, gather the key information you will need to include about yourself and your household. Find the full application checklist here.

3.   Explore your options and get answers

Compare health plans and prices on HealthCare.gov so you can make a healthy choice for you and your family. Find answers to frequently asked questions at HealthCare.gov/get-answers.

4.   Begin the application process

Visit HealthCare.gov to begin the enrollment process. You can also contact the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325). Operators can accommodate your language needs.

5.   Receive free help enrolling near you

Visit Covering Wisconsin to find a person or community group in your area who is trained to help you enroll at no cost to you. Ascension Wisconsin also has trained staff who can provide enrollment assistance. These helpful individuals can also find out if you qualify for savings on health coverage. You can contact them at 414-585-3195.

Fact – Financial help is available for most people enrolling for health insurance on the health insurance exchange.

If you or someone you know is without health insurance, take action today. Free help is available. This first step will help keep you and your loved ones healthy. There is no better time than now to ensure you and your family get insured so you have the protection you need.


About the Author

Reggie collaborates with community and business leaders along with federal, state and local lawmakers to address an evolving legislative and health care regulatory landscape..

circular headshot of reggie newson

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