Despite reductions in advertising opportunities, the Consumer Health Coalition is holding information and sign-up sessions before and during the Open Enrollment window November 1 through December 15.

Due to budgets cuts and changes to the Health Insurance Marketplace, advertising for the enrollment window has been cut by 90 percent via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The advertising trims are making it difficult for individuals in need of registration to find the necessary information channels and enrollment times.

“[We] just want to let people know they can still enroll,” said Cassie Narkevic of the Northside’s Consumer Health Coalition.

Narkevic said the Consumer Health Coalition will be holding multiple information sessions across neighborhoods in Allegheny and Beaver Counties. The next Northside event will be Thursday, October 19 at the Woods Run Carnegie Library at 6 p.m.

Narkevic said the sessions are for “anyone who thinks they’re eligible or wants to learn more.” Due to an increased amount of web traffic during the Open Enrollment window, consumers are encouraged to verify that their usernames and passwords work. Narkevic suggested that consumers make sure their log-in information at healthcare.gov is updated prior to November 1 in order to make the sign-up more process more efficient.

The Consumer Health Coalition will be also be hosting mobile events every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the Open Enrollment window. The mobile sessions will offer potential consumers who do not currently have access to the internet a laptop and a protected WiFI connection in order to properly register for coverage. The mobile sessions will be located the Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center on Penn Ave.

Important facts and tips to remember:

  • Open enrollment widow is Nov. 1 thru Dec. 15, 2017
  • Insurances are allowed to cover a lower percentage of healthcare costs this  year. Consumers can expect premiums to be reduced, but out-of-pocket fees and deductibles are expected to be increased.
  • Any past due premiums from June 2017 will be taken into account. Meaning insurers can deny 2018 coverage based on late fees from June 2017 to Dec. 2017
  • Make sure to have all necessary documents on hand when registering (citizenship/immigration, social security, and personal identification documents)
  • Make sure to write a list of all current doctors, hospitals, and medications prior to enrollment. Finding doctors and coverage that best fits consumers’ current needs will be made easier with this information on hand. If consumers are unsure of their medications or doctor information, they should contact their current doctor’s office and ask for a printed file.

For additional information Northside residents can visit the Consumer Health Coalition at 415 East Ohio Street Suite 300 (next to Bistro To-Go), call at 412-456-1877 or visit their website at www.consumerhealthcoalition.org.