Open enrollment for Marketplace health insurance, available through the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is underway and is open through December 15, 2020. This year, the WV Navigator program has to revamped how it helps people across the state with the free enrollment assistance they provide. Due to the pandemic, in-person office hours and travel to walk-in enrollment events have been stopped. Instead, the program has launched secure, private virtual assistance for anyone who has questions about health insurance options or would like free enrollment assistance.
Jeremy Smith, program director for WV Navigator, a non-profit enrollment assistance group, says getting help signing up is important, as many people are overwhelmed by the options and may choose the wrong type of plan for their family. He said “This time of year, people are bombarded with ads for health insurance. Some are legitimate, but some are not. We are grant-funded, so we have no profit motive, and our only goal is to help people find the best, most affordable plan for them.” In past years, in-person offices around the state were available to meet with people one-on-one as they needed enrollment assistance. “This year, we wanted to make sure we could still help people as much as possible, so we are offering help on the telephone and through virtual platforms like Zoom.
Financial help is available when signing up for health insurance through the Marketplace. Last year, 8 in 10 applicants qualified for financial help in obtaining health care coverage. For those that are already enrolled in Marketplace health insurance, new plans and prices are available. Those with current Marketplace coverage should pick a new plan or re-enroll in their existing plan by December 15, 2020, to prevent a lapse in coverage.
Anyone in West Virginia can call (304) 356-5834 now to reserve an appointment. Consultations are available over the telephone or through a telehealth option which will allow callers to see their application completed in real-time. There is no charge for enrollment assistance. More information is available at www.wvnavigator.com.