Annual open enrollment period begins for ACA and SHIIP

Health Watch

The Department of Health and Human Services says more plans are available through its Marketplace than ever before.

GREENVILLE, N.C.  – Open enrollment is now open for Affordable Care Act insurance for uninsured community members ages 18-64 and Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program supplemental coverage for Medicare Part A plan members ages 65 and older.

SHIIP helps Medicare beneficiaries compare and enroll in plans that best fit their needs during the open enrollment period and can help identify other Medicare cost savings programs. Changes to Medicare coverage must be made by Dec. 7, 2021, to guarantee coverage will begin without interruption on Jan. 1, 2022.

“Our Access East SHIIP program helps seniors obtain free and unbiased counseling on Medicare health care products,” said Shantell Cheek, director, Access East Uninsured Programs. “It is important that consumers review their options and consult with our experts to avoid hurried and misinformed decisions. Our experts are here to help consumers navigate the complexities associated with insurance.”

Access East’s navigators also help community members seeking health coverage through North Carolina’s federally funded ACA Healthcare Insurance Marketplace choose the best available plan, complete eligibility, and enrollment forms and determine if they qualify for federal assistance to pay for premiums. Access East navigators provide free service through grant-funded community service and provide impartial free assistance, receiving no commissions regardless of which insurance plan a consumer might choose. About 90 percent of North Carolinians who enrolled last year received financial assistance.

“Our ACA program helps underinsured community members receive access to medical care at competitive rates,” said Cheek. “I would implore all ACA and SHIIP eligible community members to consult with an expert to ensure they are obtaining insurance that meets their individual needs.”

The Annual Open Enrollment period for ACA is from Nov. 1, 2021 to Jan. 15, 2022. To enroll in ACA or speak with a Navigator, visit https://www.accesseast.org/aca-home/.

The enrollment period for SHIIP is Oct. 15, 2021 to Dec. 7, 2021. To learn more about or enroll in SHIIP, please visit https://www.ncdoi.gov/consumers/medicare-and-seniors-health-insurance-information-program-shiip.

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