On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. The law puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will affect Western Michigan University students.
If you currently have insurance through your employer or have Medicare you do not need to do anything.
Use these resources to learn more about how the Affordable Care Act affects you:
- Explore plans, eligibility, and enroll directly via the website www.healthcare.gov or receive additional assistance by calling (1-800) 318-2596
- Kalamazoo-area events and sign-up information are updated by Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services
- Sindecuse Health Center can help you acquire health insurance with a University-sponsored plan
What is the health insurance marketplace?
If you don’t have insurance, have been denied insurance in the past, or you just want to explore new options, the Health Insurance Marketplace will give you more choice and control over your health coverage.
How do the changes in insurance benefit me?
All plans must include a wide range of new benefits including wellness visits, preventative tests, hospital visits, pregnancy and more.
- Pre-existing conditions will no longer affect eligibility or cost of your insurance
- You can’t be denied health coverage based on health status
- Young adults can stay on their parents plan until age 26
- Your coverage can’t be dropped if you are sick
- Health insurers can’t place lifetime or yearly limits on your coverage
What is the cost?
The cost of the insurance works on a sliding scale based on your income. When you apply for the marketplace you’ll find out if you qualify for:
- Free or low-cost coverage from Medicaid
- Free or low-cost coverage for children from Children’s Health Insurance Program (MI-Child)
- Assistance with premium costs through tax subsidies
When is the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period?
Oct. 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014
What do I need to sign up?
- Social security numbers (or document numbers for immigrants).
- Employer and income information for every member of your household who needs coverage (pay stubs or W-2 forms – Wage and Tax Statements).
- Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering anyone in your household.
What if I don’t currently have coverage and don’t sign up?
If you don’t obtain coverage or an exemption by Jan. 1, 2014 you must pay a fee on your federal income tax return for every month you are without health insurance. In 2014 the fee is $95 per adult ($47.50 per child) or 1 percent of income, whichever is higher. The family maximum is $285.
Additional help with enrollment and questions
The lead regional navigator is Summit Pointe. Call (269) 441-6500 for answers to questions and for make referrals for in-person assistance in Kalamazoo County.