ACA Chat – Enrolling in Marketplace Health Insurance
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ACA Chat – Enrolling in Marketplace Health Insurance

thank you for joining us we are super
excited to be here to talk about the Affordable Care Act my name is Maria DeLaCruz from the Houston Health Department and I oversee the enrolled
Gulf Coast Collaborative and I’m here to introduce these wonderful ladies Melissa
I’m Melissa McChesney policy analyst with the Center for Public Policy
Priorities I’m Trelina Amos Amos I’m the director of patient access outreach for
Legacy Community Health services and I oversee the in-person assisters for
marketplace open enrollment and hi I’m Aurora Harris I’m a deputy director of
partnerships and organizing at Young Invincibles great so we’re here again to
talk about the Affordable Care Act but there’s a lots of different names are
out there so what are some of the names that you all hear about in the community
start with Trilena ACA Affordable Care Act is one of them okay
Obamacare is a big one you might also hear marketplace or great
so for the purpose of our conversation today can we keep it with marketplace
sounds good absolutely so what is the marketplace Trilena the
marketplace is connected to the lovely website you see behind us with is this is where individuals can go and
shop to find health care plans that they might be interested in if you just
imagine yourself at a grocery store with the basket shopping around you may get
your cereal you may get almond milk like me or you may go a dairy milk which I’m
allergic to and you can have these different options you can compare the
two like you will read for calories or ingredients you would compare the
different types of plans that we have there is the safest place for you to go
shop it’s important to shop on the marketplace but why should someone
enroll it’s a really good question so as young people are often tasked with
rather than that we should add the cost of a health plan into our lives and I
like to think of three big reasons why we should so the first is peace of mind
you should definitely shop for a health plan just to make sure that you’re safe
throughout the year you never know what could happen
the second is financial security so in case something does happen a health plan
often protects you from really really large medical debt or medical costs that
you wouldn’t have had otherwise and lastly it’s comprehensive coverage there
are a lot of things that you can get with the health plan that are going to
be at no additional cost to you other than your premium so I would
they say those are the top three reasons someone should should shop absolutely
awesome and we’re actually in our fifth year of the Affordable Care Act or the
marketplace if I was in the marketplace last year doesn’t the system
automatically re-enroll me into a new plan yes that will
happen so ever since year two we started seeing the system automatically
putting you into whatever you purchased last year but we actually encourage
people to go do that shopping at the marketplace because from year to year
the cost of the plan that you’re in might change and the structure of that
plan might change so last year maybe your doctor was in network for that plan
but that might actually be a little bit different this year so we just encourage
people go on to the website on to look at look and make
sure that the plan that you have is still the plan that you want because
there might be better options out there that meet your needs better this year so
meeting my needs one of the things I’m scared about is the costs what are some
of the various costs of having a marketplace where I can’t give us some
examples a lot of low to middle income people actually might qualify for a tax
credit and you can think of it kind of like a discount off of your plan so it
could be affordable for those folks that I would definitely encourage people to
go online and put in an income and see what the the cost could be I know for me
when I had an ACA plan I got it for about the same cost as two pair of jeans
that I would usually shop for that month so it was really affordable for me and I
would definitely encourage others to go and take a look as well so for two pairs
of jeans a month I can get health insurance yes
that’s super exciting but who’s eligible for the marketplace Melissa as Aurora mentioned earlier the marketplace was created for people who
don’t have access to insurance through their employer or through a government
program like Medicaid or Medicare so an example of that actually are documented
immigrants a lot of them aren’t eligible for Medicaid but they may be able to go
onto the marketplace and purchase coverage there now I want to address one
of the concerns that we’re hearing from the community which is that there are
some immigrant families who are scared to go and get
health insurance on the marketplace but I want to reinsure folks that you are
eligible for that coverage and it won’t impact your ability to get a visa or a
green card in the future and while there are some changes that people are talking
about nothing’s changed yet and even if those changes going to affect
marketplace insurance won’t impact your ability to get a green card so you’re
safe to go get the that coverage and it’s important that you do just like
it’s important for everyone else so we’ve now talked about the benefits of
having health insurance through the marketplace the cost or potential cost
of having the health insurance and who is eligible but where can someone go to
get enrolled Legacy Community Health services hey we are here to provide
in-person assistance from Houston throughout the city of Houston even in
Beaumont and Bay town we have in-person assisters that will
take their time to speak with you about anything regarding health care insurance
marketplace insurance even if you just have a couple of questions maybe you
start at the enrollment process you’re a little insecure about the plan you
selected before you actually select that plan we can help you with that process
with in-person assistance also there is an organization called change happens
they’re available to do provide in-person assistance if you’re in the
Houston area another way to enroll is online at you can go to
the website create your an account make sure that you remember your password in
your login and start that process should you have any trouble or you would like
to speak to someone if you like me I really like to talk to people as you can
see so you can call the marketplace they have individuals that can do the
enrollment via telephone so remember there’s no wrong door to go see up
in-person assister or to speak with some over the phone there’s 24/7 assistance
at through their um their phone system they have a hundred and
fifty different languages for you so regardless of what language that you
speak there should be someone there to provide you that assistance awesome is
there anything else that we would like to add before we end yeah so I just want
to reiterate that if you want to enroll in the Affordable Care Act or the
marketplace this year go to it’s really important
that you’re going to that website specifically or if someone’s helping you
– and whether it’s someone through legacy or
someone through the enrolled Gold Coast Collaborative or your neighbor or your
cousin make sure they’re using there are some websites
this year that are selling insurance that doesn’t have to follow the rules of
the Affordable Care Act so it’s important that you’re using to make sure that you’re purchasing coverage that for example
will cover your pre-existing condition so if you have health needs that need to
be addressed if you’re going to that insurance is going
to make sure to cover those conditions if you’re going somewhere else it might
not cover it so it’s really important that you’re using if you
utilize you definitely will have a peace of mind knowing that
you’re getting a comprehensive health care plan all right do you want to add
anything about the Affordable Care Act or marketplace no just that 85% of
people who went and shopped last year actually did get a tax credit so again I
just would encourage people there might be way more affordable than you think
the last thing I think that we need to make sure everyone knows is that the
deadline for the marketplace is December 15th so you must enroll before December
15th and if you’re looking for somewhere enroll go again to you
could which also gives you access to Legacy and Change
Happens and Houston Area Urban League and other organizations here in Houston
they’re here to help you enroll into the marketplace so thank you for all of you
for being here thank you legacy for having us and have a great year

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