WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Open enrollment for healthcare is underway, so New Hanover County officials are urging residents to enroll or opt-out before the deadline.
There are three options for open enrollment: Federal Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicare, and Medicaid Transformation.
“The Federal Marketplace is there for your un and underinsured," Tonya Jackson, the Assistant Director for the NHC Dept. of Social Services. "It is a medical plan that is based on your income so those plan costs actually vary from family to family, but it is a way for some of our public who are not eligible for medical coverage on their jobs or don’t have or maybe unemployed, it is a way for them to receive assistance from the federal government in getting medical coverage.”
Federal Health Insurance Marketplace, formerly known as Obamacare, is for those who purchase their own health insurance. People who are not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare and whose employer does not offer health insurance. Visit HealthCare.gov for more information. Open enrollment closed Sunday, December 15.
The federal government also has the Medicare enrollment open. This is for anyone 65 and older, or turning 65 in the next three months, and who is not already receiving benefits through social security. For questions and more information on Medicare visit Medicare.gov or call the NC SHIIP office at 1-855-408-1212. Open enrollment for Medicare closes Thursday, December 7.
NC Health Choice programs will transition to Medicaid Managed Care. According to Jackson, those who are required or have the option for Medicaid enrollment should have already received a letter in the mail.
“The Medicaid recipients will be able to come in, meet with the plans, discuss their healthcare needs, and be assisted in being able to choose a plan,” said Jackson. “We will have direct access to the enrollment brokers and we will be able to assist them in that contact. You will be able to meet someone who will be able to take the same and sit down and determine what the best plan for you is and help you through that process.”
To find out more information or to find out if you’re eligible to enroll, you’re asked to call 1-833-870-5500 or visit DHHS. Open enrollment for Medicaid Transformation closes on Friday, December 13.
“It is important you keep those deadlines in mind and make sure that you educate yourself towards what is going to be the best choice for you," said Jackson.
You can meet with an enrollment broker five-days a week at the New Hanover County Department of Social Services Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. to enrollment and find out which plan works best for you. They can help you with Medicaid, Medicare, and Federal Health Insurance Marketplace.