Free info and enrollment sessions offered for ACA
It’s not too late to learn about affordable healthcare options. People can schedule free appointments at their local library with the Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care.
“We kind of want to be able to establish in these local communities [a place] where folks know they can go to get assistance,” said Christopher Casazza, DFMC supervisor and lead marketplace guide.
“That’s just a nice focal point, because everybody knows where their local library is,” Casazza said of the choice of venue. “If the need is great enough, I’d go there five times a week.”
The nonprofit DFMC is an independent group, often working hand-in-hand with the State to help people navigate healthcare.
In Sussex County, people can meet a marketplace guide at the Bridgeville, Delmar, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Laurel, Lewes, Millsboro, Milton, Rehoboth, Seaford, Selbyville and South Coastal libraries.
For free, anyone can work with federally certified DFMC guides, who can just answer their questions or can walk individuals through the entire enrollment process. They can learn about different health plans, possible tax credits and cost reductions.
Individuals who currently have health insurance may also research whether they’re eligible for more affordable insurance. They may ask if their doctors are in a certain network, if prescriptions are covered, or if their spouse is covered by the plan.
There is no requirement to enroll.
“Anything we do is free of charge. My company is a nonprofit corporation. … There’s not a quota that I have to meet, no financial compensation for signing something,” Casazza emphasized earlier this year.
He estimates having talked with hundreds of people just at the Delaware State Fair.
Although the Affordable Care Act’s March 31 deadline for enrollment for 2014 has passed, there are exceptions.
People may be eligible for the Special Enrollment Period if they: recently moved to a new state, lost their previous coverage, got married or divorced, had a child, became involved with foster care, had a major change in income, gained citizenship, were released from incarceration or still have coverage that doesn’t meet ACA requirements.
“If you pay more than 9.5 percent of your gross income toward your health insurance, then that is considered unaffordable, and you may be eligible to fall into the special enrollment period,” Casazza said. “That seems to really be an eye-opener.”
To enroll, individuals need to bring: birth dates and Social Security numbers of those applying for coverage; paystubs, W-2 forms or other information about the family’s income; policy/member numbers for any current health coverage (if applicable); information about any health coverage from a job that’s available to them or their family (if applicable).
“Give me a call and lets get together … so we can really figure it out for you.”
DFMC also makes appearances at regional festivals, including the Eastern Shore AFRAM Festival on Aug. 9 in Seaford and Festival Hispaño on Aug. 10 in Millsboro.