The Gainesville Sun
By Christopher Curry
While health insurance enrollment through the Affordable Care Act continues until Feb. 15, Monday is a key date.
For those who do not now have health insurance through the ACA but plan to enroll, Monday is the deadline to sign up and have coverage beginning Jan. 1.
The soonest their coverage will begin if they miss that deadline is Feb. 1.
Individuals who have coverage through the ACA and take no action to change plans by Monday will be automatically re-enrolled in their current plan for the upcoming year. They will still have the option of switching plans until Feb. 15, but they will then have a new plan and will lose anything they paid toward the deductible under the old plan.
Lauren Vagelakos, the program coordinator for the ACA navigator program the WellFlorida Council oversees in North Central Florida, recommended that people with coverage through the ACA shop for options before Monday to see if they can find comparable coverage at a lower price. She said those individuals may see some savings because of increased competition this year. During the last enrollment cycle, Florida Blue, the state’s largest insurer, was the only company in the county offering plans through the Affordable Care Act. This time around, United HealthCare and Assurant Health have joined Florida Blue.
The nonprofit group Enroll America and the Gainesville chapter of the The Links Inc., a nonprofit service group of professional African-American women, have organized an enrollment event Saturday. Navigators will be available to help people sign up for coverage and health screenings will be offered.
Anyone wanting to sign up for coverage should bring W2 forms with income information, Social Security numbers for every member of their household, employer information and proof of citizenship if applicable.