FIRC schedules Summit County health insurance enrollment fair for March 26
Ryan Summerlin March 26, 2014
if you go
What: Health Insurance Enrollment Fair at the Family & Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC)
When: Wednesday, March 26, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 251 W. Fourth Street, Silverthorne (FIRC’s new office).
Health coverage guides will help people enroll insurance plans and understand deadlines. FIRC recommends people who are self-employed, have kids covered by CHP+ or are considering COBRA coverage attend. Call (970) 262-3888 or visit www.summitfirc.org for more information.
Seasonal jobs often leave Summit County workers and families uninsured, underinsured or without stable insurance.
That’s why the Family & Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC), a nonprofit that supports and promotes stable families, is holding a health insurance enrollment fair Wednesday.
The last day to sign up for health insurance this year through Connect for Health Colorado, the online marketplace started in October under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is Monday. After that March 31 deadline, open enrollment for 2014 ends.
“People are panicking,” said Jenny Abbott, FIRC health coverage guide. They rush and fill out the online applications incorrectly, she said, which causes problems later.
The new marketplace is a great opportunity for those who qualify for financial help, said Tamara Drangstveit, FIRC’s executive director. She explained the health care reform targets residents whose income puts them above the Medicaid cutoff, but below 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
The application to prove ineligibility for Medicaid can take a while to process, Abbott said, and that must happen before residents can qualify for cost-sharing reductions or tax credits.
Abbott and four other health coverage guides will be available all day Wednesday to help people enroll for insurance plans. Unlike private brokers who make a commission and recommend specific insurance plans to clients, the nonprofit employees don’t charge and can’t recommend a plan, but they can explain how plans work.
Residents can speed up the process at the enrollment fair by bringing all their pay stubs from 2014, their birth certificate or passport and their social security card. Abbott encouraged residents to come even if they don’t have those documents.
She said many rules of the application process have changed recently. For example, if someone fills out a Medicaid eligibility application before the March 31 deadline, they can enroll in other programs and plans later.