The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers many uninsured and under-insured Iowans the opportunity to obtain free or low cost health insurance. While enrollment in Health and Wellness (Iowa’s Medicaid expansion) is open year round, enrollment in Iowa’s Marketplace, where financial assistance is available for people with incomes under 400% of the federal poverty level, will end on March 31st.
But Iowans who wait until the end of March to enroll will likely not have time to complete the entire application, which may require verification of identity documentation, such as a birth certificate. As a result, they will not only be uninsured but also be required to pay the penalty for not having coverage. In addition, uninsured Iowans will miss the opportunity for valuable (and sometimes lifesaving) free preventive benefits required by the ACA, including cancer and heart disease screening.
Due to the numbers of enrollees and the required documentation, it is strongly recommended that all enrollment applications be completed by March 15th. People who miss the March 31st deadline will need to wait until next year’s open enrollment period to apply for coverage (with the exception of people who experience a “qualifying event”, such as marriage). Apply and enroll for health coverage NOW through the Health Insurance Marketplace, www.healthcare.gov.
The Johnson County Healthcare Outreach Coalition has developed a brochure with information about the law and consumer enrollment assistance access points. The brochure, as well as up to date information for area enrollment fairs is posted at http://www.unitedwayjc.org.
The Coalition will host an enrollment fair on Wednesday, March 12, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Iowa City Public Library, Room B where representatives from local health and social services agencies and insurance brokers will be available.
Please join us as we work to increase access to health care for Johnson County residents.
To view/download/print a brochure on "Where to Get Help with Healthcare Enrollment in Johnson County", click here.
Johnson County Healthcare Outreach Enrollment Event
Wednesday, March 12, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m at the Iowa City Public Library, Room B