• Jim Hawkins: Affordable health care enrollment deadline upcoming

    By Jim Hawkins -

    Here’s the quick bottom line, in Tennessee and across the nation, millions have obtained subsidized health care insurance coverage through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov, but the deadline to apply for coverage that starts Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.

    After a divorce, one of my clients got Marketplace insurance for $15 a month.

    Q. Who is eligible to use the Marketplace?

    To be eligible to enroll in Marketplace health coverage, you must live in the United States, must be a U.S. citizen or national or be lawfully present, and you can’t be incarcerated.

    Q. How do I apply for health insurance through the Marketplace?

    The easiest way is to visit healthcare.gov and follow the instructions.  You can also call for help 24 hours a day at 800-318-2596.

    Q. What do I need in order to complete my application for coverage?

    You will need to have this basic information:

    • your household size.

    • figure out who in your household should apply before your start your application. Visit healthcare.gov/income-and-household-information/household-size for help in figuring out who needs coverage.

    • birth date and Social Security numbers for persons applying for coverage.

    • home and mailing addresses for everyone applying for coverage.

    • employer and income information for each member of your household – for example, from pay stubs or W-2 statements of wages and taxes.

    • your best estimate of your 2019 income.

    • policy numbers for any current health plans covering members of your family.

    • notices with your current plan number if you already have a Marketplace plan.

    Q. Do all Marketplace plans cover essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions and preventive services?

    Yes. Apply on or before Dec. 15, 2018.

    Please share this information with individuals and families who are in need of affordable health care coverage.

    Jim Hawkins is a general practice and public interest law attorney in Gallatin. This column represents legal information and is not intended to take the place of legal advice. All cases are different and need individual attention. Consult with a private attorney of your choice to review the facts and law specific to your case. Call 615-452-9200 to suggest future column topics.

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