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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Making an Enrollment List and Checking It Twice

By Susan Johnson


December 08, 2016
Thursday AM

Applications usually require supporting information and documents. Job applications, school applications, car insurance applications, scholarship applications, loan applications, and of course health insurance applications, require you to have certain information available to complete the process. While no one likes completing applications, it tends to go much more smoothly if you’re prepared.

To apply for health insurance through, you’ll need the following information. Gathering this information together in a folder prior to applying can save you time, headaches, and multiple visits to your assister.

  • Information about your household size. Figure out who in your household should apply before you start your application.
  • Home and/or mailing addresses for everyone applying for coverage.
  • Information about everyone applying for coverage, like addresses, birth dates, and Social Security Numbers.
  • Information about the professional helping you apply (if you’re getting help completing your application), such as name, job title and contact information.
  • Document information for legal immigrants.
  • Information on how you file your taxes. (For example, if you’re self-employed, you may pay estimated taxes each quarter.) You might want to bring your last tax filing.
  • Employer and income information for every member of your household (for example, from pay stubs or W-2 forms).
  • Your best estimate of what your household income will be in 2017.
  • Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household.
  • A completed Employer Coverage Tool for every job-based plan you or someone in your household is eligible for. (You’ll need to fill out this form even for coverage you’re eligible for but don’t enroll in.)
  • Notices from your current plan that include your plan ID number, if you have or had health coverage in 2016.

In order to choose a health plan, you’ll probably want to gather additional information, which will help you choose a plan which best fits your needs.
· Names of medical facilities anyone in your family uses.

  • Names of all family physicians or other providers, including specialists.
  • Names of all medications anyone in your family is currently taking.
  • Frequency of provider visits for each family member.
  • Whether or not each family member smokes.
  • Premium and deductible amounts you are able to pay. has tools which allow you to see which doctors, facilities, and prescriptions are covered by each plan.

Here are a few other things to consider.

  • Alaska Primary Care Association (APCA) can assist you with your application at Get Covered Alaska or by calling 1-844-PLANSAK (1-844-752-6725). Assistance is available from United Way of Anchorage by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-478-2221.
  • You must enroll by December 15, 2016, for coverage to be effective January 1, 2017.
  • The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land and Open Enrollment only lasts until January 31, 2017.
  • You must pay your premium monthly in order to maintain coverage—85% of people get help paying their premiums, which can often be less than $75 per month.

Enroll today and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance for you and your family.

Susan Johnson,
Regional Director, US Department of Health and Human Services, Region 10
Seattle, Washington

Received December 07, 2016 - Published December 08, 2016




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