New Jersey/New York: The open enrollment period started on November 1, 2015 and will continue until January 31, 2016, allowing millions of Americans the opportunity to get affordable health insurance. Like the past few years, UNITED SIKHS will be providing free enrollment assistance in New York and New Jersey, and here are 5 things you need to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Period.
But before we begin, help double the impact: UNITED SIKHS is providing one-on-one enrollment assistance in New Jersey entirely supported by private funding. A generous funder has offered to match the money we raise SO PLEASE DONATE WHAT YOU CAN, $20, $50-- IT ALL HELPS.

Over the past few years, UNITED SIKHS assisted nearly 1000 community members and reached out to over 15,000. We are depending on the generosity of community members like you to reach our goals of assisting everyone in need in our community.
1) If you do not have health insurance, the open enrollment period is the time to explore your options for affordable health insurance plans at the Health Insurance Marketplace.
The Marketplace provides an easy way to get health insurance that works for your and your family. You can look at different health plans, compare monthly costs and enroll in the plan you want. The Marketplace is open to nearly everyone, including U.S. citizens and people with different immigration and residency statuses. Undocumented immigrants cannot get insurance in the Marketplace. Even if you are not eligible to purchase insurance through the Marketplace, you can apply for your children or other family members who might be eligible.
2) If you already have health insurance, now is the time to (a) review the renewal process and any plan changes (b) and revisit the plan to make sure it fulfills your health needs.
If you currently have insurance through the Marketplace, we recommend keeping an eye out for correspondence related to renewing your current plan, and reviewing any changes the issuer might be making to the plan in the upcoming year.
Open enrollment is also the time to ensure that your current plan is meeting your needs. Some important things to consider may include ensuring you are able to see the providers you want to see, your prescriptions are covered etc.
3) You will need to enroll by December 15, 2015 for coverage that begins on 1/1/2016.
If you need a plan that begins your coverage on 1/1/2016, the deadline to apply (and select a plan) is 12/15/2015. Consumers who enroll between December 16, 2015 and January 15, 2016 will have a start of February 1, 2016, and enrollments until January 31, 2016 will have a coverage start date of March 1, 2016.
4) You can get in-person and in-language assistance to help you apply and enroll in a plan of your liking.
The Marketplace has certified Navigators and application counselors to provide information and assist with the application process. Please note that these services are available free, beware of scams where assisters charge you money to help you complete and submit an application. The Marketplace is also offering language assistance for those who are more comfortable in their primary language. Simply call the Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 and ask for an interpreter.
You can find local assistance at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov. UNITED SIKHS provides free assistance in the following locations, in Punjabi and English. New Jersey: Carteret Free Public Library, call us for an appointment at: 732-860-5066. New York: UNITED SIKHS office, Richmond Hill, Queens, call us for an appointment at 718-441-6644.
5) The penalties for not having insurance are increasing every year.
If you do not have health coverage in 2015, you will be subject to a penalty. In addition you may be responsible for all of your health bills. According to healthcare.gov, if you don't have coverage in 2016, you'll pay a penalty of either 2.5% of your income, or $695 per adult ($347.50 per child) - whichever is higher.
The deadline for open enrollment is January 31, 2016. After January 31st , you will only be allowed to enroll in health insurance if you qualify for a special enrollment period. For more information on special enrollment periods, call or email us.
You are able to apply for Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) any time of the year if you qualify. Medicaid and CHIP rules differ by state, so click here for more information.
Need more information? We're here to help! Contact us at 718-441-6644 or email us at ceed-usa@unitedsikhs.org.
UNITED SIKHS is a part of Action for Health Justice (AHJ), a national coalition dedicated to ensuring AAs and NHPIs realize the benefits of the new health law. AHJ is the only national strategy group working to reach and enroll AAs and NHPIs through one-on-one assistance, in person, to those who need help navigating the enrollment process or require assistance in Asian and Pacific Islander languages. The work is crucial to reaching a community where one in three has difficulty, speaking, writing, or reading English.
Once again, we are providing one-on-one enrollment assistance in New Jersey entirely supported by private funding. A generous funder has offered to match the money we raise so please donate today.
For more information about enrollment assistance, Action for Health Justice or UNITED SIKHS Community Education and Empowerment programs, please contact us at ceed-usa@unitedsikhs.org.

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Issued by 
Rucha Kavathe, PhD
Community Education & Empowerment Directorate, UNITED SIKHS
E: ceed-usa@unitedsikhs.org

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To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.
Community Empowerment and Education Division (CEED)
Empowering individuals and groups to attain their full potential and become active participants in society through Education, Training and Community development projects. They take their place in the decision-making processes in their local community as well as in the international arena.
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