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Michigan Dept. of Insurance and Financial Services kicks off Open Enrollment town hall series

Mental health care advocates say patients face challenges in insurance coverage.
Mental health care advocates say patients face challenges in insurance coverage.

A town hall series discussing Open Enrollment for Michigan’s Health Insurance Marketplace kicked off Wednesday.

The open enrollment period to sign up for insurance through healthcare.gov or at Michigan.gov/healthinsurance started this month and runs through mid-January.

Anita Fox is the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services director. She said any Michigan resident can find coverage.

When you put in basic information, [if] you are Medicare eligible, it will push you off into that. Or if you’re Medicaid eligible. And then if you’re not, it will walk you through what are the options,” Fox said.

Her department’s next Open Enrollment town hall meetings will take place on Dec. 1st and Jan. 12th.

Emily DeLaGarza helped answer questions during Wednesday’s meeting. She said people should make sure their preferred providers and prescriptions are within a plan’s network.

“If you see a plan or you’re presented with a plan that has a low cost and kind of sounds too good to be true, chances are it probably is. Consumers should also make sure that the plan that you’re considering is a comprehensive qualified health plan that’s going to provide the type of coverage you need.” DeLaGarza said.

Qualifying residents can also apply for Medicaid coverage no matter the time of year.

Meanwhile, Fox also said the federal American Rescue Plan Act is giving residents bigger discounts on healthcare this year than before.

“Nation-wide I know that four out of five shoppers found that they could get a plan for less than ten dollars a month and that statewide, Michiganders saw a nearly $12 million in savings per month just from applying these new subsidies,” Fox said.

She estimated over a million Michiganders are signed up for health insurance either through Medicaid or a marketplace plan.