December 17, 2021
Deadline to apply is Jan. 15
Money can be tight in December, and the financial decisions made during this season have a great influence on the year to come. Wyoming residents have the chance to sign up for health insurance through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace, where they can search for coverage, revise existing plans, and possibly find savings, but they must act soon as the annual enrollment window is closing fast.
Less than a month remains before the Jan. 15, 2022, signup deadline. Enroll Wyoming’s Navigators are available throughout Wyoming to guide consumers through the process. If people don’t finalize their Marketplace paperwork by the deadline, they won’t have another chance until next November unless they experience a major life-changing event like a marriage, divorce, birth, new job or unemployment. Now is the time to review insurance options and Enroll Wyoming Navigators offer free and knowledgeable assistance.
WHAT DOES ENROLL WYOMING DO?
Enroll Wyoming is a grant-funded, nonprofit organization tasked with helping individuals and families find affordable, quality health coverage that works for their individual situations and its services are offered at no cost. Navigators regularly handle inquiries from people in a variety of financial situations. They walk consumers through questions regarding their income and needs before presenting the available solutions, and individuals then make choices that best meet their personal needs.
Navigator Dasa Robertson said the information discussed remains confidential and the one-on-one assistance allows for options to be explored in a fair and impartial manner.
“When consumers have help filling out the application from a trusted navigator it makes the process smooth and less intimidating,” she said.
While Navigators are familiar with health insurance options and the Health Insurance Marketplace, they do not have the same sales pressures as insurance agents.
“Enroll Wyoming Navigators do not make commissions or have sales goals,” Project Director Jason Mincer said. “We are paid through a grant and our sole purpose is to help individuals find the best health care and health insurance solutions for their individual situations.”
The passage of the Affordable Care Act created health insurance marketplaces in each state for consumers to compare and contrast plans. People can search on their own at www.healthcare.gov. Marketplace insurance plans have several benefits, such as these being the same plans insurance companies offer consumers in the private market, and most people will qualify for government subsidies, making these plans much more affordable than any other options. In other words, these are quality insurance plans, and because of subsidies, this is the cheapest place they are offered. Wyoming’s health insurance marketplace offers insurance plans from two companies — Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) and Mountain Health Co-op (MHC).
“We understand the process can seem daunting,” Navigator Angela Thatcher said. “However, the Navigators with Enroll Wyoming trained to make it simpler for our clients. We can help people not only find insurance plans but also ways to make paying for those plans easier. … We are here to help you get the coverage you need.”
The Marketplace isn’t just for those who lack insurance. It can also be used by those looking for additional savings.
Navigator Erik Saulness said, “So far, everybody that I have helped to enroll for health care has been surprised both at how easy it has been for them and at how little it cost them, if it cost them anything at all. There is a lot of assistance out there, financial and otherwise, that people haven’t been informed of.”
He stressed that there is less than a month left to take advantage of the open enrollment period through the Marketplace.
“If anybody is thinking about whether or not it is a good idea for them, I can only point out that it will cost them nothing to sit down with us for a few minutes and find out what insurance plans are available and the cost for those plans. In the worst-case scenario, they go away no worse off than they already were, but so far everybody who has taken the time to sit down with me has ended up very pleasantly surprised,” he said.
HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH AN ENROLL WYOMING NAVIGATOR?
More than 20,000 Wyoming residents have signed up for coverage though the health insurance marketplace, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
The easiest way to set up an appointment is to call 211 (simply dial 2-1-1 and hit “SEND” on a cellphone) and ask for a health insurance Navigator. Usually consumers get to speak to Navigators right away. In-person, phone and Zoom consultations are available.
WHO IS MY LOCAL NAVIGATOR?
In Sheridan, Campbell, Crook, Weston and Johnson counties, consumers can directly contact Navigator Nancy Drummond at Nancy@enrollwyo.org or 307-461-9099 or Erik Saulness at email@example.com or 307-461-9572.
In Natrona, Converse, Fremont, Niobrara and Johnson counties, consumers can directly contact Navigator Cynthia Nunley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-274-2312.
In Albany, Platte, Goshen and Laramie counties, consumers can directly contact Navigator Dasa Robertson at email@example.com or 307-214-0786.
In Sweetwater, Carbon, Uinta, Lincoln, Sublette, and Teton counties, consumers can directly contact Navigator Angela Thatcher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-352-9109.
In Park, Big Horn, Hot Springs, and Washakie counties, consumers can directly contact Navigator Val Walsh-Haines at Val@enrollwyo.org or 307-296-7522.
This project is supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1.25 million with 100 percent funded by CMS/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CMS/HHS, or the U.S. Government.