On October 1, 2013, a new health insurance marketplace opened, giving Americans new healthcare and health insurance choices.

According to recent polls from The Wall Street Journal and NBC, 76 percent of uninsured respondents didn’t understand the law and how it would affect them and only 32 percent of the uninsured thought they were “fairly” or “very” likely to use the exchanges.

Given that health insurance is an important part of helping people manage their overall health and well-being, Humana wants to help Detroit community members understand how healthcare reform will impact them and their families and how to enroll.

In an effort to help simplify the enrollment process, check out what you need to know in the cheat sheet below:

About Federal Health Care Reform:

  • Beginning October 1, 2013 through March 2014, individuals and families can purchase health insurance through exchanges, which are similar to an online shopping center; through an insurance agent; or through health insurance companies, including options offered by Humana.
  • Some people may qualify for financial assistance to help pay for health insurance
  • No one will be denied health insurance coverage based on their medical condition
  • People who do not have health insurance by the 2014 tax filing season may face a penalty.
  • Enroll by the 15th of the month and coverage will begin on the first day of the following month.

Checklist of items you will need to enroll:

  1. Social Security Numbers (or document numbers for legal immigrants)
  2. Employer and income information for every member of your household who needs coverage (ie. pay stubs or W-2 forms – Wage and Tax Statements)
  3. Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household
  4. A completed Employer Coverage Tool (see link below) for every job-based plan you or someone in your household is eligible for.  (You’ll need to fill out this form even for coverage you’re eligible for but don’t enroll in.)  https://www.healthcare.gov/downloads/ECT_Application_508_130615.pdf

What is health insurance?

  • Health insurance is a way to safeguard yourself from devastating financial loss due to medical bills if you or someone in your family becomes ill or injured.
  • Without health insurance, a single serious illness could use up the money you’ve set aside for your retirement, children’s education, or dream home. With health insurance, seeing the doctor may be more affordable because you can take advantage of the savings that your health insurance company has negotiated and the coverage available with your health insurance plan.
  • Health insurance also covers all or part of the cost of preventive care that can help you stay well. This includes routine doctors’ visits for things like checkups, cholesterol screenings, and immunizations such as the flu shot. People who have health insurance may be more likely to get the preventive care they need on a regular basis.
  • When you buy health insurance, you enter into a kind of contract. In exchange for the monthly fee you pay, your health insurance carrier will cover all or part of the costs of your healthcare.
  • Many people get their insurance through their employer. Other people purchase it directly through a private health insurance company such as Humana or through insurance agents who sell health coverage from a variety of health insurance companies. In addition, the government offers special programs such as Medicare and Medicaid for senior citizens and people who are disabled or can’t afford insurance.

For more health care reform assistance and advice visit humanahelps.com.