GUEST COMMENTARY: Don’t miss the March 31 ACA enrollment deadline

2014-03-23T00:00:00Z GUEST COMMENTARY: Don’t miss the March 31 ACA enrollment deadlineBy June Lyle nwitimes.com
March 23, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Being sick is undeniably stressful, and being sick without health coverage is even more so. For the 13 percent of Hoosiers ages 50 to 64 — about 172,000 people — who were uninsured in 2011, I have a message for you: Please don’t miss the March 31 deadline to buy coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Why now? Not only will having health insurance help your peace of mind, you won’t have another opportunity to get covered until Nov. 15. Plus, you’ll avoid a financial penalty.

But if you already have coverage through Medicare or Medicaid, a military program or your employer, you don’t need to do anything.

How to sign up? First, check out AARP’s web tool, HealthLawAnswers.org, which provides a quick and easy way to get customized information based on where you live, your gender, your family size, and your income and insurance status.

Answering just seven simple questions generates a report about what benefits may be available to you and your family and where to find more information.

Next, visit the HealthCare.gov website or call a 24-hour hotline at (800) 318-2596 to compare plans and determine what works best for you and your family. Whichever plan you choose, add this to your peace of mind: the health care law requires all plans to meet a certain level of coverage; you can’t be denied coverage if you have a pre-existing condition or dropped from a plan if you get sick; your plan can’t put dollar limits on your care; you get free preventive care including diabetes and cholesterol screenings, mammograms and immunizations; and, young adults can stay on their parents’ family plan until they turn 26.

At AARP, we take very seriously our role of providing folks with simple, clear-language information about the health care law and what it means for them. I hope you’ll take your role as a savvy consumer seriously. Sign up for the coverage that works best for you by the March 31 deadline.

June Lyle is AARP Indiana state director. The opinions are the writer's.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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