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January 28, 2021

15 Million People Will Be Eligible for the Special Enrollment Period – Here’s How they Can Pick the Right Health Insurance Plan

When President Biden signs the executive order opening the federal Marketplace for a special enrollment period, 15 million people will have the chance to sign up for insurance who may have missed traditional open enrollment. Because choosing a plan can be so complicated, National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF)’s guide to the insurance marketplace simplifies the process into four easy steps, giving consumers the security to know that they are making informed, thoughtful coverage choices.  

The Step-by-Step Guide for Comparing Health Plans includes practical tips and printable worksheets and breaks down the selection process into four easy steps:

  1. Gather the names of your current doctors and medications
  2. Enter the requested information on the Health Insurance Marketplace website
  3. Narrow down your plan comparison using preferred filters based on what is important to you
  4. Use the NPAF worksheets and pro tips to compare plans and identify the one that best fits your needs

According to Rebecca Kirch, NPAF executive vice president, many of those people were eligible during the most recent open enrollment, but never completed their application or were too overwhelmed to even start. “Choosing a plan is rarely an easy process. Trying to match your financial and health needs to the perfect plan is intimidating even for experts, but that’s why we’re here to help.” 

Kirch advises that patients take the time to “do a health care audit” and critically evaluate their plans, their doctors and their treatment options to make sure they are working for them. “Open enrollment is a good time to ask everything from whether you’re comfortable with your doctor to if you could switch to generics and save money on prescription drugs,” she noted.

Users can also access the entire library of educational materials available from the Patient Advocate Foundation, including the entire national directory of financial assistance programs.

“We know that choosing a plan can be daunting, but with the right tools and enough time, we’re confident people can make good choices,” said Kirch.

National Patient Advocate Foundation is a national non-profit organization advocating for access to affordable, equitable care for people nationwide. As it advocates for patients and caregivers, it also teaches them to advocate for themselves. Learn more at