TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — COVID has cranked up the stress on health care---and how to pay for it.
As of Monday, the Federal Government has re-opened an opportunity to sign up for health insurance under Obamacare.
The official name for the program is the Affordable Care Act or ACA, but these days it’s widely known as Obamacare. It aims to give people a chance for affordable health insurance even if they can’t get on a plan where their employer helps cover the cost.
With just a few exceptions you usually can only sign up in the fall for coverage to start the following January. But because of the health emergency, the Biden administration ordered a special enrollment period to run from now to May 15.
At El Rio Health, Janette Pinuelas helps clients find ways to pay for their care.
She says anyone applying for Obamacare should have income tax info ready because tax credits may help pay for your coverage.
‘Keep in mind to have social security numbers ready proof of citizenship or residency immigration status, those things and your income is what you will need to help you apply for the Health Insurance Marketplace.”
She says the system may determine someone qualifies for state subsidized healthcare. If so, it will direct them to AHCCCS, The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System---Arizona’s version of Medicaid.
Most people will sign up through the website Healthcare.gov. But El Rio can help people who don’t have internet access, or who may be missing some of the information the website requests. You can get enrollment help through the Cover Arizona website or by calling El Rio Health at 520-670-3909.
“The most important thing that you do need is at least to have your household information basic information ready. Legal names social security numbers citizenship status and income for the current year.”
She says undocumented immigrants do not qualify for coverage but legal resident immigrants and some with certain types of visas can get coverage.
And that coverage begins on the first day of the month after you sign up.