Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' blog. See the original post here.
The deadline to enroll in 2015 coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces is February 15. I urge all American Indians and Alaska Natives to go to HealthCare.gov, call 1-800-318-2596, or visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to see what benefits are available to you and to ensure that you have health coverage for 2015.
As an American Indian and Alaska Native, you may be eligible for services through the Indian Health Service (IHS), but the local facility may not be able to provide certain health care services, or you may live too far away to access those services. If you do not have other health insurance coverage, such as Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP, I encourage you to make sure you don’t miss the open enrollment deadline.
American Indians and Alaska Natives who are Tribal members can still enroll after February 15, but if not, your only chance to enroll to purchase health insurance coverage for 2015 is during the open enrollment period, which ends in two days!
If you are a member of a Tribe or are eligible for IHS, you can apply for an exemption from maintaining health coverage, but I hope you at least check to see what your benefits are under the Affordable Care Act before the enrollment deadline. You might find out that you can purchase a really great insurance plan for a very small monthly cost based on your income, and you might qualify for no out-of-pocket costs if you are a member of a federally-recognized Tribe.
Please don’t miss the deadline on February 15 and #GetCovered!
Yvette Roubideaux, M.D., M.P.H., is the Senior Advisor to the Secretary for American Indians and Alaska Natives.