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Government and Health Care
How should you navigate the health care marketplace?
Need health insurance? Here are some tips.
- Michigan's insurance marketplace is run by the federal government at www.healthcare.gov . The best times to visit are mornings, nights and weekends. The middle of the day is the busiest time for the website.
- Last week was the deadline for coverage by Jan. 1. Enrollment continues through March 31. Miss that deadline and pay a penalty of $95 or 1 percent of your income in year one, whichever is higher.
- Federal tax credits will help make premiums more affordable for households earning between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line. That's about $11,500 to $46,000 for an individual, roughly $23,500 to $94,000 for a family of four.
- If your household income is less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level (about $59,000 for a family of four), you also may qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs when you buy a silver plan on the marketplace.
- Assess the provider network available. Do doctors and hospitals match what you have today? Cheaper plans typically have more limited networks.
- Having trouble picking plan? You have four options: Contact the call center at (800) 318-2596, make an appointment with an in-person assistant by visiting this website, call the insurance company directly if you know which one you want to work with, or call an insurance agent or broker.
- Low-income adults making up to 133 percent of the poverty level can qualify for Medicaid around April 1. You can sign up at the government website, go to this website, call (855) 275-6424 or visit a local Department of Human Services office. Enrollment can’t begin, however, until Michigan's Medicaid expansion plan is officially approved by the Obama administration.