Take Advantage of These Health Coverage Open Enrollment Periods
Each year Medicare, Medicaid, and Affordable Care Act (ACA) health and prescription drug plans can make changes. Things like costs, coverage, and in-network providers can change. Now is your chance to review your current coverage and make updates if necessary.
Here is what you need to know about open enrollment this year:
- Medicare open enrollment began October 15, 2020 and will end December 7, 2020.
- ACA open enrollment began November 1, 2020 and will end December 15, 2020.
- Healthy Connections Medicaid open enrollment is available year-round.
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Different parts of Medicare cover various services such as hospital insurance, medical insurance, and prescription drug coverage. There are four parts for Medicare:
- Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
- Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
- Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans)
- Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)
Open enrollment for Medicare started October 15, 2020 and will end December 7, 2020.
Beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to review their healthcare plans and compare their options. You may be able to find a plan that gives you better coverage or saves you money. You can enroll and learn more HERE.
The ACA health insurance marketplace (healthcare.gov) is where people who do not have health insurance through their job or a government program can go to sign up for healthcare coverage. To be eligible for an ACA plan, you must be a US citizen or legal resident and not currently incarcerated. If you meet certain income requirements, you might be eligible for a subsidy to help pay for your plan.
ACA open enrollment started November 1, 2020 and will end December 15, 2020.
For ACA plans, you must act by December 15 to get 2021 coverage unless you qualify for a special enrollment period. If you decide to make a change to your plan, your new coverage will start on January 1, 2021. You can enroll and learn more HERE.
Medicaid in South Carolina, called Healthy Connections Medicaid, is managed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy Connections Medicaid pays for the medical needs of eligible low-income adults, children, aged, blind or disabled individuals. People of all ages can apply for Healthy Connections Medicaid. It covers hospital stays, prescription drugs and doctor visits. It can also cover transportation to medical appointments, dental care, preventative services and even long-term care services. To receive Healthy Connections Medicaid in South Carolina, you must meet financial and non-financial criteria. You may be eligible even if you have not qualified for other benefits in the past.
Healthy Connections Medicaid does not have a specific open enrollment period; you can apply year-round!
The South Carolina Department on Aging (SCDOA) (https://aging.sc.gov) and their affiliate Area Agencies on Aging offer the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHIP provides free, in depth, one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, friends, and caregivers. SHIP Counselors can answer questions for seniors and caregivers as they are making changes to their Medicare coverage. You can learn more about the program HERE.
Furthermore, you can call SC Thrive’s Contact Center directly at 800.726.8774 to apply for any of the Healthy Connections Medicaid programs including Healthy Connections Prime today!