If you need health insurance, you have a couple of weeks to get ready before the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. There are steps you can take now to make the smartest choice for you and your family before October 1 when open enrollment begins.
South Dakota is one of several states that will have an exchange run by the federal government. Individuals can go to the federal government website healthcare.gov and create an account, but are not able to sign up for plans until October 1.
You can also sign up for emails or text to get new information on the Marketplace as it comes out. Then you can go through the Marketplace application checklist. This gives you a chance to gather the information about you and your household, including income and any insurance you currently have. There's also an employer coverage form that is required to be filled out.
You can also set your budget and use the Kaiser Family Foundation calculator to get a rough estimate of how much health insurance may cost you in 2014.
You should also make a list of questions you have before it's time to choose your health plan. In every state there are people who are trained to help you understand the health care options and get enrolled in a plan.
The federal government has awarded some $500,000 in Navigator grants to two South Dakota organizations to provide assistance to individuals signing up for coverage.
South Dakota Community Action Partnership/Anticipated grant amount: $336,000
Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board/Anticipated grant amount: $264,000
Community Action Agencies in South Dakota
Northeast South Dakota Community Action Program
104 Ash Street East
Sisseton, SD 57262-1908
Marcia Erickson, Executive Director
Rural Office of Community Services
140 Highway 50
PO Box 70
Lake Andes, SD 57356-0070
Deb Cahoy, Executive Director
Western South Dakota Community Action Agency
1844 Lombardy Drive
Rapid City SD 57703
Linda Edel, Executive Director
Inter-Lakes Community Action Inc.
111 N Van Eps Avenue
P.O. Box 268
Madison, SD 57042
Cindy Dannenbring, Executive Director