WASHINGTON, DC – November 1st, as open enrollment begins for consumers to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is encouraging Rhode Islanders to understand their options and select a plan that best fits their needs.
During open enrollment, which started November 1st and runs through December 23, Rhode Islanders have several options to enroll or renew their health insurance coverage for the 2019 calendar year, including: online at www.healthsourceri.com; over the phone at 1-855-840-HSRI; in person at the HealthSource RI Walk-In Center (401 Wampanoag Trail, East Providence); or one-on-one in their community by calling 211 to find help nearby.
About 30,000 Rhode Island residents currently have coverage through HealthSource RI. Over 80% of them get a federal tax credit to help with the costs of insurance.
“Finding the right health insurance coverage can be complicated, but HealthSource RI provides helpful tools online, over the phone, or through face-to-face personal assistance to help you navigate the health care system. I encourage all Rhode Islanders to get the facts and get the coverage they need,” said Senator Reed. “When people have access to health insurance, they have a chance to lead healthier, more productive lives. If people don’t have insurance, they still get sick, they just can’t afford to pay. So it is in everyone’s interest to ensure that all Americans have affordable coverage they can rely on. Access to preventive care can go a long way to reducing overall medical costs both for individuals and our communities. So don’t delay, enroll today.”
The ACA provides federal protections for health consumers and people with pre-existing conditions, and Senator Reed says Congress must not repeal the law and allow insurance companies to turn away patients with pre-existing conditions, charge them higher premiums, or exclude coverage for the medical services they need.
The effort to encourage Rhode Islanders to get affordable health coverage comes on the heels of the Trump administration cutting the open enrollment period from three months to six weeks in 2017 and 2018; slashing the advertising budget for the ACA; and backing so-called “junk plans” that don’t cover essential health benefits – such as maternity care, mental and behavioral health treatment, and pre-existing conditions – and could place caps and lifetime limits on policies.
Since its inception in 2013, HealthSource RI has helped to cut Rhode Island’s uninsured rate by two-thirds. Today, 96% of Rhode Island residents have health coverage.