Health care coverage is an essential component of achieving the AHA's vision of healthy communities, where all individuals reach their highest potential for health. Many individuals are eligible for coverage through their employer or through a public program such as Medicaid or Medicare. Others can enroll in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces.
Close to 90% of Americans have coverage which is good news – coverage improves access to care, is associated with improved health outcomes, supports appropriate health care utilization, and improves individual, family, and community wellbeing.
Because coverage is so important, and can be confusing to access, it’s critical that all community stakeholders, including hospitals, help to make the enrollment process easy and accessible.
Looking for Coverage?
Employer-Based Insurance: Ask human resources when your organization’s open enrollment period is and if you qualify. All full time employees working at least 30 hours a week for an organization with at least 50 full-time employees are required to have access to health insurance through their employer. However, even if your employer doesn’t meet these criteria, they may still offer coverage.
Medicare: Medicare is available for most adults over the age of 65 and for many individuals with disabilities. For some individuals, enrollment in Medicare is automatic. You can check your status and, if necessary, sign up in one of three ways:
- By visiting https://www. medicare.gov
- By calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
- By visiting your local Social Security office (call first to make an appointment)
For more information, visit Medicare.gov.
Medicaid: Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are state-run health insurance programs that provide free or low-cost health coverage to millions of Americans, including some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Your state may call its program something other than Medicaid or CHIP.
See whether you may qualify for Medicaid based on your income level. If not, you may still quality based on your family or disability status, or other factors.
Contact your state Medicaid office to find out more about your coverage options or with any questions concerning eligibility and enrollment.
Individual Market: Apply for coverage through HealthCare.gov during the annual open enrollment period or following a qualifying life event (e.g., loss of alternative coverage, getting married, or moving to a different county or state). The 2018 open enrollment period for most states ran from November 1 through December 15; the 2019 open enrollment period is expected to be similar.
Young Adults Enrollment Video
This video highlights the importance of health insurance for young people and encourages them to enroll during open enrollment.
You may use this video in a variety of settings:
- Social Media
- Community outreach
- Display in high traffic areas within your hospital or health system
- Meetings with administrators
We will update this video for the 2019 open enrollment period in October 2018.
You can also view on AHA's YouTube channel, or download and save the video file to your computer by clicking the following links: