How to sign up for ACA coverage, headache-free

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) Open enrollment for many Hoosiers’ healthcare started Tuesday, but for many people under the Affordable Care Act, signing up or renewing can be overwhelming.

Kellie Blackmon is basically in health insurance limbo.

“I have no insurance coverage,” Blackmon explained. “I’m getting older and I do need to get to some doctors and get a workup.”

But her family’s budget is tight, so she’s trying to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That’s easier said than done for Blackmon, though.

“You really don’t know which one to go for,” Blackmon said.

She said the process makes her feel like ‘giving up’.

“Forget it,” she said. “Try to find something different. It’s just that difficult and frustrating.”

Susan Rider, a Benefits and Human Capital Consultant with Gregory and Appel Insurance, said Blackmon’s not alone.

“The Affordable Care Act is so confusing to most people,” said Rider.

Rider said more than 174,000 Hoosiers enrolled through the Indiana Marketplace during the 2017 open enrollment period a year ago, compared to more than 196,000 the year prior – an 11 percent decrease.

Rider explained how the process works online.

“When you go out to Healthcare.gov, you’re going to compare plans side by side, similar to how you would buy a flight or buy a hotel,” Rider explained.

Rider said when enrolling, look for which hospitals, pharmacies, and urgent care centers are close to home and in-network. Make sure your doctors and specialists are in-network, and be sure you know which prescription drugs are covered.

Watch your deductibles, co-pays, and most importantly, your out-of-pocket max.

Rider asked, “Is it better for you, for budget-purposes, to pay more each month out of your bank account, or is it more important for you to pay less when you go seek care?”

“I think it’s good advice,” Blackmon said.

That’s advice Blackmon said she’ll use tonight.

Rider said it’s best to find people who are certified to sell insurance within the marketplace. You can get free help via the ACA 24-hours a day by calling 1 (800) 318-2596 or by clicking here.

Rider also recommended using a licensed certified broker to help. Rider said broker services are already paid for by your monthly premiums.

To learn more about how to enroll, click here.
To learn about the Affordable Care Act, click here.
To find a broker, click here.

Open enrollment for the ACA ends on Dec. 15.