If you wish to purchase health insurance before the federal deadline of midnight, several sites will be open to offer advice today.
They can be found by clicking the “Find Local Help” list on healthcare.gov.
In addition, the New Jersey Hospital Associations list these two sessions:
Red Bank: Pilgrim Baptist Church, 172 Shrewsbury Ave., 10m a.m. – 3 p.m., 609-480-6258
Camden: Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center Emergency Department, 1600 Haddon Ave, Camden, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., 609-480-8957
The federal website, healthcare.gov, has received 2 million visitors this weekend alone, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In the last week alone, according to a Sunday press release, the call center (1-800-318-2596) took 2.5 million calls — more than the 2.4 million it received through all of February.
Even those who enroll at an enrollment center or by the call center will still have to go through the federal website.
Ed Sadowsky, a certified enrollment navigator, offers this piece of advice: Before you begin your trek through the enrollment process, make sure you have a working email address. And open an account on the website, which means coming up with a login name and a password. It has to be unique, so if you’re John Smith and your dog is Fido, one of your fellow countrymen has probably grabbed those words.
The federal website allows users to “window shop” by looking through the various plans to see if certain doctors or medications are included. It also will calculate fairly quickly if someone qualifies for a subsidy.
(Another resource to get a guesstimate on subsidies is the Kaiser Health Foundation’s calculator, here.)
About 80 percent of the people who buy plans through the federal website end up qualifying for a subsidy. People who want or need a subsidy must go through the federal marketplace website to get one. But those whose incomes are too high to get a subsidy can buy their insurance straight from any company selling in New Jersey.
If a plan has been decided upon, customers can call or visit one of the three New Jersey selling policies on the federal marketplace directly.