Our Squad Can Help You with Health Insurance

If you’re uninsured and worried about getting the medical care you need, I have a whole platoon ready to help. The COVERNJ initiative at the New Jersey Hospital Association is composed of U.S. veterans who are boots on the ground in helping New Jersey residents sign up for health insurance. We’re now in the final month of the annual open enrollment period in which people can shop for insurance online through the healthcare marketplace. The window closes Jan. 31, so please read on and then reach out to us if you need help...

Healthcare coverage provides better access to healthcare services, especially preventive services and care for chronic health conditions. It allows you to have a doctor or nurse who oversees your primary care and gives you a “medical home.” It also gives you financial peace of mind, especially if you have an accident or a serious medical condition.

New Jersey’s health insurance marketplace, GetCoveredNJ provides details of all the available insurance plans, plus information on financial assistance, monthly premiums, covered doctors and more. There’s also information on free or low-cost coverage for eligible individuals and families through NJ FamilyCare. As I help people move through the site, they’re often surprised by all the available options and the opportunity for financial help to make insurance more affordable. An eligibility application will be part of the enrollment process.

Plans in the online marketplace are categorized with “metal” descriptions: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These categories are based on how much of the costs your plan will cover and how much you will have to pay yourself. There are also “Catastrophic” health plans which have the lowest premiums, but provide coverage only for the most serious illnesses or injuries.

I’ll admit – it can be information overload. But that’s where the COVERNJ veterans come in. I’m a former Marine, and my colleagues all served our country as well. We’re trained health navigators who help people move through the insurance marketplace or the healthcare system to get the services they need. During this pandemic, we can connect with you via phone or computer to provide free, confidential help.

Sadly, the coronavirus has taken a terrible toll on many individuals and families in New Jersey. If you’re one of the people who lost a job, or are a young adult who aged out of your parents’ insurance, or are a veteran trying to sort through VA coverage and other programs, I invite you to visit us online at www.NJHA.com/COVERNJ. You can learn much more about the open enrollment period, meet the rest of the veteran navigators and connect directly with us via phone or email. But don’t wait, because open enrollment only happens one time each year, and the clock is ticking toward Jan. 31.

Michael Mimms, EdD, is a former Marine whose new mission is to help people get the healthcare help they need.

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Michael Mimms, EdD, is a former Marine whose new mission is to help people get the healthcare help they need.

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