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The 2019 Health Insurance Open Enrollment begins November 1 and only last 45 days. Here are five important details you need to know.

*The information in this article is as current as the publication date. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information prior to acting. 

    • If your estimated 2018 income is below 138% of FPL ($16,753 for a single person) you may be eligible for Medicaid. Men and women. Even those without children or dependents can apply for Medicaid. See the chart below for monthly income guidelines for households of more than one person.
    • If your estimated ed income is greater than 138% of FPL, apply online before the December 15 deadline.
    • Know your estimated 2019 Household Income, social security numbers and birthdays for everyone in your family/household.

Have your recent W-2 form.

  • ll 1-800-324-8680 for questions about income and other factors. 

You may also like: Schedule an appointment with one of these Black doctors. 

The 2019 Health Insurance Open Enrollment runs from November 1 – December 15, 2018.  If you do not have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying health coverage, the Marketplace can help you get covered.

Apply Online

Based on your estimated income, you may qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly insurance bill, and for extra savings on out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and co-payments.

Ohio has accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid to provide free or low-cost coverage for individuals and families with limited monthly income, disabilities, and some other situations.

*Monthly income of 138% includes individuals who are at 133% FPL with a 5% disregard during eligibility calculations.  Photo credit: Ohio Medicaid.

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If you have employer-based insurance, you can buy a plan through the Marketplace, but you will pay full price unless your employer’s insurance does not meet certain standards.  Most job-based plans meet the standards.

If you have Medicare, you cannot switch to Marketplace insurance, supplement your coverage with a Marketplace plan, or buy a Marketplace dental plan. Learn about Medicare and the Marketplace.

The cost and benefits of your health insurance depend on your household income for the year. Private insurance companies offer health insurance plans with a range of prices and features.

Starting November 1, 2018, there are four ways you can apply:

1. Online – If you already have an account with the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can simply log-in. If you do not have an account, you will need to create one.

2. TelephoneA customer service representative at the Health Insurance Marketplace can help you fill out an application, review your choices, and enroll in coverage by calling 1-800-318-2596. This line is open 24/7 with the exclusion of holidays.

3. In-Person Assistance – Health Insurance Marketplace assisters are available in your community who are trained to help you fill out an application and enroll. Search using your zip code to find the closest one to you.

4. Paper ApplicationPrint, complete and mail in a paper application. You will get eligibility results in the mail within two weeks.

After December 15, 2018, you can enroll in the health insurance marketplace only if you qualify for the Special Enrollment Period that includes certain life events, like losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby or adopting a child.

You may also like: Cincinnati veteran assistance programs help those in need. 

Even if this information does not pertain to you, please forward and share in hopes it will reach the people who need health insurance. Also, you can check out a few more of our health articles including Black Doctors in Cincinnati, Mercy Health Patient Care Program and Family Assistance Programs.


The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans in the region. Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Facebook or text VOBC to 797979 for local news, events, job postings, scholarships and a database of local Black-owned businesses.

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