NEW ORLEANS — This week marks the beginning of open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace. Starting today, local organizations are mobilizing to help Greater New Orleans area residents sign up for health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The open enrollment period ends on Dec. 15th.
Approximately 109,855 Louisianans received their health insurance through the Marketplace in 2018. The Marketplace exists to provide discounted (or subsidized) health insurance to individuals over 138 percent FPL (which is the upper limit for Medicaid eligibility), up to 400 percent FPL, who do not receive health insurance through their jobs. This includes thousands of independent contractors, part-time or seasonal workers, musicians, self-employed residents and service industry professionals in New Orleans. In Louisiana, approximately 90% of residents qualify for financial assistance to help pay for the costs associated with their Marketplace insurance plan: premiums, co-pays and deductibles. The Marketplace is critical for individuals and families who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid in Louisiana, but are not offered an affordable plan through their employer.
As a function of the Affordable Care Act, all plans offered through the Marketplace cover a comprehensive set of benefits, including physician visits, preventive care, hospital stays and prescriptions. Discrimination based on gender or preexisting conditions is no longer allowed, making it easier to get covered. Through the Marketplace, financial assistance is available to help lower the cost of health insurance.
504HealthNet has a navigation line that residents can call during business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) to ask questions and get connected to enrollment specialists. 504HealthNet and partners will host and attend a number of community events to provide information about the Marketplace open enrollment period, and one-on-one assistance to residents seeking to apply for health insurance. Residents can find a calendar of these events at http://504healthnet.org/calendar/.
Additionally, Healthcare for the Homeless (HCH) is a federally qualified health center and provides the direct healthcare services for the New Orleans Health Department. HCH provides medical and dental healthcare to individuals with and without health insurance, and patients do not need to be homeless to receive services. The patient navigators at the clinic can assist with Marketplace enrollment. Please call 504-658-2585 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
“The Affordable Care Act and Marketplace provide a critical place for New Orleanians to receive quality and affordable health insurance. It is important to make sure all of our residents are aware of this enrollment period, and 504HealthNet is a great resource for those struggling to enroll on their own,” said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, New Orleans Health Department Director.
“This enrollment period is a critical time for us to connect community members in need of healthcare to health insurance they can afford. With the many changes happening within our healthcare system today, it is our goal to provide information and resources so our community understands what options they have to get and stay healthy,” said Tiffany Netters, Executive Director of 504HealthNet.
Those seeking help with enrollment in the Marketplace can call or text 504HealthNet at 504-206-6275. Free, in-person enrollment assistance is available to anyone upon request.