2014-03-27 / Community

AARP, MSU to offer ACA help

Last chance to sign up for coverage March 31

LANSING – The March 31 deadline for signing up for health care coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fast approaching.

Michigan residents can enroll through the federal marketplace at www.healthcare.gov. Despite earlier glitches, the website is now up and running well.

AARP offers a wealth of information about all facets of the Affordable Care Act at www.healthlawanswers.org

Find a local Navigator who can help guide consumers through the enrollment process at www.enrollMichigan.com

Those who have questions about how health insurance works, or how to price options that fit into the household budget, the Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service offers “Smart Choices for Health Insurance Coverage” webinars and workshops. Learn more at www.aca.msue.msu.edu

Consumers who are required to enroll but don’t by the deadline will face a financial penalty of $95 for the 2014 tax year. The penalty rises sharply in future years for those who continue to fail to sign up.

The Health Insurance Marketplace will make it easier to shop for health plans in Michigan. All plans will be listed in one place, so consumers can make applesto apples comparisons of the benefits and prices. And all plans are required to describe what’s included in simple language, so there’s no guesswork about what’s covered.

The health insurance plans must cover the essentials. All plans offered on the Marketplace are required to cover important benefits, like doctor visits, emergency care, prescriptions, preventive care and more.

For the first time, there’s financial help to pay for health insurance. Now, health coverage is finally within reach for millions of Americans. In fact, many people who buy their plan on the Marketplace can get help covering the costs. And low-cost or free plans are available depending on your income.

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