Open enrollment for health insurance begins November 1st

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CHEYENNE, Wyo - Enroll Wyoming navigators will once again be available to provide individual assistance during the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period, which runs from November 1 through December 15, 2017.

“Enroll Wyoming navigators will be traveling to each Wyoming county to educate residents about their health insurance options and provide free enrollment assistance to individuals and families who need coverage for 2018,” said Monica Jennings, Enroll Wyoming navigator.
More than 12 million consumers enrolled in the Marketplace during the last open enrollment period, with 24,826 Wyomingites signing up for coverage.

“To ensure we reach as many people as possible, we have scheduled more than 100 events statewide for this year’s shortened, six-week open enrollment period,” Jennings said. “We will be meeting with folks in coffee shops, health clinics, libraries and many other convenient locations to make sure people feel comfortable and have the opportunity to get their questions answered and get enrolled in coverage for 2018.”

In previous years navigators visited each county multiple times during open enrollment. Due to reduced funding, the Enroll Wyoming navigators will only be able to travel to some counties once during this year’s open enrollment period.

“We now have access to a statewide telehealth network so will be making use of that to do more outreach around the state,” Jennings said.

Telehealth will allow the navigators to meet with individuals and families using secure video conference and screen-sharing features on the internet. Many counties have designated locations for telehealth access for residents who don’t own computers or have no internet access at home.

“Despite all of the news surrounding the Affordable Care Act, we are still here and committed to helping consumers in Wyoming obtain and understand health insurance,” said Heather Webb, Enroll Wyoming navigator. “We are already working hard to ensure we reach as many parts of our state as possible, be it directly or through telehealth. We have a good plan in place for how we will do outreach and want all of our residents to know that we are available and ready to help them.”

Five Tips to Prepare for Open Enrollment
1. Ask questions now. Many people want to know if they will qualify for health insurance plan
discounts. People can dial 2-1-1 now to speak with a navigator and check their eligibility.
Navigators have already scheduled their visits throughout the state and can schedule an
appointment to meet in person or via telehealth.

2. Set up an account/access existing accounts. In order to apply for health insurance through the
Marketplace, individuals need to set up an account on www.healthcare.gov by clicking on “ log in”
at the top right on the home screen and by then clicking on “create an account.” Account creation
requires an email address. People may dial 2-1-1 to connect with a navigator who can assist with
setting up an account. People with an existing healthcare.gov account are encouraged to log in
now and be sure they know their password to avoid waiting on the phone line during open
enrollment to reset passwords. If a password needs to be reset, people may call 1-800-318-2596
for help.

3. Collect the information needed to complete the application. Navigators will not ask to see
personal identifiable information (PII) during enrollment events. Residents who wish to enroll need
to know birth dates, social security numbers, expected income for 2018 before taxes and whether
or not their employer offers health insurance coverage to complete the application. It is also helpful
to make a list of any medications, specific doctors, health clinics and hospitals that will be used for
health care for 2018 and to bring this list to an enrollment event.

4. Plan to attend an enrollment event now. Wyoming 2-1-1 continues to maintain the calendar and
travel schedule for Enroll Wyoming navigators. People may dial 2-1-1 or 888-425-7138 from a land
line or cell phone to speak with a navigator and find out when a navigator will be in their
community. Wyoming residents may also visit www.wyoming211.org and click on the “Enroll
Wyoming” link to the left of the page to view the calendar themselves.

5. Enroll/re-enroll early. Open enrollment begins November 1, 2017. Those needing coverage for
2018 must enroll by December 15, 2017. Most of the nation will be enrolling on healthcare.gov at
the same time. To avoid lines and long wait times, attend an enrollment event in November and
complete enrollment early.

Check out the interview from the morning show to hear from Blue Cross Blue Shields about their plans this year as well as more information on this event.