How to get health care

Since President Donald Trump has come into office, one of his main objectives has been to repeal and replace Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Trump issued an executive order on Thursday that would deregulate parts of the insurance industry and strip back some restrictions on the coverage insurers can offer. The order is expected to direct agencies to rewrite federal rules to allow trade associations to offer their own health plans.

While not as heavily advertised as it once was, Obamacare has not been repealed. Many people who need to apply for healthcare because of age requirements or other reasons may not know how to do so. The process is quite simple, although choosing a plan may not be. People are able to apply online, in person at their local human services agency, or over the phone at 800-300-1506.

The ACA states that a person must have health insurance at least nine months of the year, or they will be subject to a special tax of up to 2.5 percent of their total income.

Open enrollment for health insurance starts Nov. 1, and runs through Jan. 28, 2018. To be insured by the new year, applications must file before Dec. 15.

First visit www.coveredca.com and create an account by filling in some basic information and creating a password.

Next, fill out the online application. The application is sent to your nearest human services agency for review and they may contact you if more information is needed. After the application, one of two options will be available within 45 days by mail. Applicants will be able to purchase health insurance through Covered California, where Californians shop and compare health plans. Some residents will be eligible for Medi-Cal, a program that offers free or low-cost healthcare plans to children and adults with limited income for those who qualify.

Once that step is complete, the next is figuring out what health plan is best. Comparing not only the cost of the plans is important, but also the coverage available through that particular plan. If at any point you need help choosing a plan, you can go through the website to find a certified enroller in their area who can answer questions and help in the selection process.

For those who are eligible for Medi-Cal, a notice will be sent in the mail along with a benefits identification card. Also, you will receive addition information that spells out the Medi-Cal options in your specific county and what you need to do to enroll.

If neither of the options works, then people may go through their specific county and see if they can get limited health services through them. This would not be an insurance plan, so the coverage would be limited.

Trump’s whole plan has to go through a rule making process so it is extremely important to get insured before it goes in effect.

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