Information on the Affordable Care Act (sometimes referred to as Obamacare) is expected to change, so please check back, or go to HealthCare.gov.
The Affordable Care Act requires individuals to have health insurance as of January 1, 2014. (It also requires insurers to sell insurance even to sick individuals, that is, no pre-existing condition exclusions.)
If you do not have health insurance, you will want to shop for it. Please keep in mind the following.
You may be eligible to use the new online health insurance exchanges (now referred to as the Marketplace). The Marketplace can help you locate and compare plans, including coverage, benefits, premiums (purchase price), deductibles, and co-payment costs.
Timing is important: Open enrollment is underway now until March 31, 2014. See other Key Dates and Deadlines.
You may find that you qualify for assistance (subsidy or cost sharing) that will reduce the cost of your plan on the Marketplace. Whether you are eligible for a subsidy depends on your income.
What to do now:
Start by making a list of things that will be important in your coverage decision, for example:
Know how your current health insurance plan (if any) works, whether it will continue, and when it will renew.
Know about coverage in the Ann Arbor area.
For Ann Arbor students, know what your U-M student fees cover: For currently enrolled U-M students (that is, taking regular classes on the Ann Arbor campus), most costs at UHS are covered by your health service fee, paid as part of tuition. Insurance helps to pay for other costs. See How UHS works with Health Insurance.
Visit HealthCare.gov, click on Individuals and Families, answer a few quick questions and you'll get:
A list of coverage options
Answers that will help you make good decisions
A personalized checklist to help you get ready to apply
Access to a call center and chat for help
Some states have opted for the federal government to run their Marketplace, while other states are running their own. HealthCare.gov will link you to your state's Health Insurance Marketplace.
Help is available!
The U-M Health System Certified Application Counselors are trained to assist with questions about enrollment in a private or Medicaid plan. For assistance, call 877-326-9155 (9am - 8pm Monday - Friday) or email PFC-Counselors@med.umich.edu.
Key Affordable Care Act dates and deadlines:
March – Enrollment in Healthy Michigan (expanded Medicaid) plans is expected to begin
March 15 - People who sign up for a private plan by this date will have coverage beginning April 1
March 31 – Open enrollment ends for private individual/family plans on the Marketplace; coverage will begin May 1.
March 31 is also the deadline for all Americans to meet the requirement of having health insurance for all or most of 2014. Most people who don’t meet this deadline will have to pay a fee on top of their income taxes in early 2015.
April – Coverage under Healthy Michigan (expanded Medicaid) plans is expected to begin.
All year – Someone who has a qualifying life event (such as the birth of a baby or marriage) can enroll in a Marketplace plan, or change plans, even when open enrollment is closed.
U-M Domestic Student Health Insurance Plan (DSHIP) Individuals not eligible for subsidies on the Marketplace or expanded Medicaid may want to consider this plan. Only U-M offers this plan, and it was developed to meet student needs. It is an annual plan and is not refundable once purchased. Its benefits are comparable to a “silver” plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace. This plan is available for purchase only during the U-M DSHIP open enrollment periods, with exceptions for qualifying life events. Please note student health insurance plans are not listed on the Marketplaces.
For more information: