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How to get free help with health care open enrollment in Michigan

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan is offering free help by phone and email for any Michigan resident who is struggling with health care open enrollment. 

Wednesday marks the first day of open enrollment for people who buy their own health insurance from Healtcare.gov. It’s also a key time for Medicare participants to figure out what kind of coverage they want for next year, and many employers are offering different plans for next year during their Open Enrollments going on now. 

The university is offering free help to anyone who needs to choose a health insurance plan for next year.

  • Anyone, no matter whether they have ever had a U-M doctor or not, can call the team at 877-326-9155 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday to Friday, or email PFC-Counselors@med.umich.edu.

They have published this plain-English article about things people should consider when thinking about next year’s insurance choice:

Free health insurance help to any Michigan resident

A dozen trained insurance enrollment counselors at Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center, have the latest information about plans, rates and financial assistance.

Recent news about the Affordable Care Act may leave some people worried they can’t find or afford coverage, if they don’t already get insurance from their job.

But the U-M counselors say that for many people, the changes that have been in the news won’t affect them nearly as much as they might think. In fact, some people may even find better coverage for less money than they would have last year at this time.

The most important thing to do is to explore options as soon as possible, both for people who don’t have insurance right now, and those who buy their own insurance but might want to change it or see what their plan will cost in 2018.

Open enrollment for individual and family insurance plans offered on the Healthcare.gov Marketplace begins Wednesday, Nov. 1 and continues until December 15. Medicare open enrollment began recently and continues until December 7.

Other types of coverage, including the Healthy Michigan Plan for lower-income Michiganders, can enroll people year-round. The U-M team can help with those, too.

The team’s members offer in-person help via appointments and on a walk-in basis on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at several locations on the main U-M medical campus in central Ann Arbor, as well as at Michigan Medicine health centers in northeast Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Brighton.

MORE HELP: 7 Things to Know During Health Insurance Open Enrollment