Iowa residents have an opportunity to enroll in health insurance for 2022 on HealthCare.gov. This open enrollment period is a full 4 weeks longer than recent enrollment periods, from now to Jan. 15, 2022.

  • Jeremy Smith, program director for Iowa Navigator, says getting help signing up is important, as many people are overwhelmed by the options or may not realize how to shop for affordable health coverage. IA Navigator is a federally funded non-profit organization that helps families and other underserved communities gain access to health coverage options through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or CHIP. They can assist with enrollment applications and help consumers receive financial assistance through HealthCare.gov. This year, IA Navigator has received a significant boost in funding which has enabled them to hire more Navigators and include Navigators that will be exclusively working with Spanish speaking individuals.

New rules as part of the American Rescue Plan will greatly expand subsidies and lower monthly premiums which means that plans have never been more affordable. Last year, 9 in 10 applicants qualified for financial help in obtaining health care coverage. Even most high-income earners will now be able to qualify for the lower-cost plans.

Consumers enrolling in a plan on HealthCare.gov are guaranteed to receive comprehensive coverage, with no pre-existing condition exclusions or markups. All plans cover essential benefits, including doctor and hospital visits, prescription drugs, mental health treatment, and maternity care. In addition, consumers receive free preventive care services, such as immunizations and health screenings. Testing and treatment of COVID-19 are considered essential health benefits and are covered by all HealthCare.gov plans.

Consumers should avoid insurance plans offered outside of HealthCare.gov that seem too good to be true. “Junk insurance” products pose huge financial risks to consumers. These products can refuse to pay for care for pre-existing conditions, charge consumers more based on their gender, and impose annual coverage limits.

Anyone in Iowa can call 877-474-6284 to reserve an appointment with IA Navigator to get free enrollment assistance. 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.acanavigator.com

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