ACA Marketplace enrollment counseling available

MANISTEE COUNTY — Certified financial counselors are available at several Munson Healthcare facilities to help individuals enroll in the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance Marketplace for 2018.

The enrollment window began Nov. 1 and closes Dec. 15. Open enrollment remains important for anyone not covered by health insurance through their employer or other means. About 18,000 people in northern Michigan are covered by health insurance plans provided through the federal Marketplace.

“At Munson Healthcare we’re always concerned when people lose their health insurance because it leads to sicker patients arriving at our Emergency Departments,” said Ed Ness, president and CEO of Munson Healthcare. “Having access to primary care doctors promotes health and catches health problems in the early stages.”

Munson Healthcare offers certified financial counselors at several facilities who can help the region’s residents enroll in the Marketplace for 2018. Counselors are available in Cadillac, Frankfort, Gaylord, Grayling, Kalkaska, Manistee and Traverse City.

Munson Medical Center financial counseling coordinator Royleen Martin said the certified application counselors are reviewing the various plans with individuals to assist in selecting a plan to best fit their needs.

“We are able to assist individuals who are enrolling in health care coverage for the first time or renewing their coverage for the next benefit year. We can also answer questions related to navigating the healthcare.gov website.”

People who do not meet the Dec. 15 deadline will not be able to enroll for 2018, unless their circumstances change and they meet specified criteria for enrollment outside of the window. Lack of health insurance could result in a penalty. This year the tax penalty is 2.5 percent of adjusted gross household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under age 18, whichever is highest.

More information is available at healthcare.gov.

AREA RESOURCES

Following is a listing of regional resource numbers for financial counseling related to open enrollment:

• Cadillac

Munson Healthcare Cadillac: 800-336-3729

District Health Department #10: (231) 775-9942

• Frankfort

Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital: (231) 352-2388

• Manistee

Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital: (231) 398-1566

District Health Department #10: (231) 723-3595

• Traverse City

Munson Medical Center: 800-533-5520

Traverse Health Clinic: (231) 935-0799

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