Nebraskans can still access free and local assistance during COVID-19 pandemic
This is a guest blog post from Marissa Morales, Health Care Access Program Intern
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted thousands of Nebraskans, including many who have lost their health insurance coverage through their jobs. The Health Insurance Marketplace will offer coverage to eligible Nebraskans during the Open Enrollment Period running from November 1 – December 15, 2020 – a timely support during this crisis.
Nebraskans can take advantage of free, local assistance in comparing and selecting plans that can fit their families’ needs and budgets. It’s important that residents are aware of the changes happening within the program, including new prices, financial assistance, coverages, and networks.
If you have any questions about coverage or applying, Enroll Nebraska is a statewide network of enrollment assisters who are available for free, in-person (though sometimes socially distant) consultations to help answer questions. Use this online map to locate an assister organization in your community, or take advantage of the free 2-1-1 referral service operated by United Way of the Midlands to be directed to a local assister.
You can also compare and purchase plans online at Healthcare.gov or by calling the Marketplace toll-free at 1-800-318-2596. The online Marketplace will again be shut down on some Sunday mornings during the Open Enrollment period, but you can use the hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can start preparing to apply by gathering some important information for yourself and other members of your household, such as:
- Social Security numbers
- Copies of Legal Resident documents
- W-2 forms, work pay stubs, and/or a tax return from the previous year
- Personal email address and login to create an online Health Insurance Marketplace account
- Marketplace account username and password (If you already have a Marketplace account)
- Social Security income statement
- Statements on student loans or alimony payments, if applicable
This year, Medicaid expansion in Nebraska began on October 1, 2020. The state estimates that about 90,000 people can gain coverage through expanded Medicaid in Nebraska, not including those who have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information or to apply for the new expanded Medicaid in Nebraska, visit ACCESSNebraska or call the ACCESSNebraska Medicaid number at (855) 632-7633.