Affordable Care Act update: What you need to know about open enrollment

Published 4:59 pm Saturday, November 8, 2014

If you are uninsured or looking for affordable health insurance, now is the time for you to look.

During open enrollment you can purchase private health insurance through the marketplace in each state. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for assistance with your health insurance costs.

If you currently have insurance through the marketplace, you should look at your current plan and determine if it will continue to meet your needs, or select a better plan. If you do not take action, you will be automatically re-enrolled in your current plan.

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Re-enrollment provides an important opportunity to report any changes to your income.

2015 Open Enrollment

Nov. 15

Open enrollment begins

Dec. 15

Enroll before this date to have coverage Jan. 1, 2015

Feb. 15, 2015

Open enrollment ends

Why you should check your coverage:

•Even if you like your health plan, new plans may be available and premiums or cost sharing may have changed since last year.

•Even if your income has not changed, you could be eligible for more financial assistance.

If you have a disability or a health condition, pay attention to possible changes:

•Are a broad range of health care providers included in the health plan’s network of providers?

•Are there enough medical specialists in the network to meet your needs?

•Are needed medications included in the plan’s list of covered drugs?

• Is there adequate access to non-clinical, disability-specific services and supports?

•Does the plan have service limits, such as caps on the number of office visits for therapy services?

•Are mental health services covered to the same extent that other “physical” health benefits are covered?

Where to get help

Health insurance can be complicated. If you or your family member needs assistance with understanding the options, can help. This website has information about seeking assistance in local communities, explanations of health insurance terms, enrollment information and much more. There is also a 24-hour phone line for consumer assistance at 1-800-318-2596 to call for help.

Celebrate Heroes of The Arc Minnesota.

Join The Arc Minnesota for our fourth annual Heroes Luncheon. Celebrate individuals whose leadership and volunteer efforts have made Minnesota better for persons with disabilities.

2014 Honorees:  Lee Ann Erickson, Dawn Helgeson, Buff Hennessey, Bev Kaler, Kim Keprios, Marianne Reich and Cass Robinson.

Friday, Dec. 5 from 11: 30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Midland Hills Country Club, 2001 Fulham St., Roseville.

Suggested Donation:  $40 per person.  Donations can be made at the event.

To register contact Dawn at 651-604-8070 or by Nov. 24.

Jamey Helgeson is the Program Director at The Arc Mower County and can be reached at or by calling 507-433-8994, Extension 102.  You can also visit our website ( and follow us on Facebook (