The March 31 deadline to find a health plan for you and your family is fast-approaching.
Confused? Don’t be. Applying for health coverage may be easier than you think!
For many Americans, this year is their first time applying for healthcare coverage and the amount of information available can be overwhelming. Let’s make things easier!
This is a straightforward Q&A guide to where you can go for help, and what to expect during the selection and application process.
How can I apply for health insurance?
There are three options if you need to apply for health insurance:
1. If you have a favorite insurance carrier, you can apply directly with them!
Rocky Mountain Health Plans allows you to get a quote and apply online, by phone or through a paper application. You can also chat with a live person online if you get stuck or have a question during any part of the process.
2. If you are not familiar with a specific insurance company, you can start by talking with a broker. Brokers are well educated on the different insurance products and can help with any issues that may arise.
3. The Colorado Marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, and Ehealthinsurance.com are a great way to compare insurance carriers side-by-side and complete the process online.
With these options, you can compare side-by-side options for the different carriers and apply for health insurance coverage. With Connect for Health Colorado, you can also find out if you qualify and apply for the government tax credits.
What information will I need available when I apply for health insurance?
Here’s a checklist! Before you start the application process make sure you have the following information available for all family members:
- Name, date of birth, smoking and marital status
- Prior/current health coverage information (if applicable)
- Child dental information (if applicable)
- Names of preferred doctors or providers
- Credit card, debit card or check information for the first month’s premium payment
If you apply for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado, they require additional financial information for each family member to apply for a tax credit. This includes:
- Employer information
- Income information (W2 forms, other income (i.e. disability, social security))
- Employer Coverage Tool for any job that offers coverage to you or someone in your household
- Asset and expense information for the household if anyone in the home is disabled
How long will the application process take?
The application process outside of the Marketplace will take a family of four about 20-40 minutes to complete. It goes faster if you make sure you have all the information in the list above.
The process within the Marketplace may take longer if you are interested in applying for the tax credit. Again, making sure you have the necessary financial information available will speed things up!
I keep hearing about the Marketplace. What is it?
The Marketplace is designed to give you a lot of options and information!
You can compare different companies’ plans to each other, and possibly qualify for tax credits toward your premiums! While you might have heard a lot about healthcare.gov recently, in Colorado, we have an independent Marketplace called Connect for Health Colorado.
You can still purchase health insurance directly through your favorite health insurance company like RMHP or through Connect for Health Colorado.
What is the difference between the Marketplace and working directly with my favorite insurance company or a broker?
The main difference between the Marketplace and insurance companies is that you can apply for the tax credit discounts ONLY through the Marketplace. Wondering if you qualify for tax credits? Find out with our tax credit calculator.
Is there a deadline if I want to have coverage in 2014?
Yes, but it hasn’t passed yet! You can apply anytime until March 31, 2014.
After the deadline, you will only be able to sign-up for insurance if you have a “qualifying life event” (marriage, birth, adoption, etc.).
If you don’t apply by March 31, and you don’t have a qualifying event, you won’t be able to get coverage until the next enrollment opportunity this fall for 2015 coverage.
I received a quote, how long will the rates last?
The rates will remain the same through open enrollment which ends March 31, 2014. The ONLY exception is if you or a family member has a birthday between now and then.
Have a question we didn’t answer? Ask us below (no personal information – protect your privacy!) or feel free to contact us via phone or email.