This year’s open enrollment period for the online Healthcare Marketplace begins Monday, Nov. 1 and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma is offering Navigators across the state to help Oklahomans weigh their options.
Legal aid’s Navigator Project is the result of a federal grant to help consumers make the right insurance decisions for their families and has provided training and certification for more than 40 Navigators across the state.
The Navigators are prepared to answer questions and assist consumers with health insurance decisions. The Navigators will not offer advice or suggestions to consumers and have pledged to be unbiased. They do not accept payment or gifts and have no interests in insurance companies. To speak with a certified Navigator, Oklahomans in all 77 counties can call or text 405-313-1780.
Open enrollment, which ends Jan. 15, 2021, allows consumers to enroll in new policies and make changes to existing coverqge. In order to enroll in a Marketplace policy after open enrollment ends, consumers must apply for a special enrollment period (SEP).
In addition to providing information concerning the private companies offering insurance in the Marketplace, Navigators can help with SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, and Medicare.
Fifteen certified navigators are on board at several legal aid offices across the state, ready to help Oklahomans understand the fine print of health insurance coverage and take advantage of the Healthcare Marketplace’s current open enrollment period. This open enrollment period, which lasts through May 15, allows new enrollments as well as changes to existing coverage.
Legal Aid has 15 Navigators on staff, all trained and certified both by the federal government and the Oklahoma Insurance Department, and located in the following cities: Altus, Ardmore, Bartlesville, Guymon, Hugo, Lawton, Oklahoma City, McAlester, Muskogee, Norman, Poteau, Stillwater, Tulsa, Weatherford and Woodward. LASO is offering this Marketplace assistance as the result of a federal grant to help people know what kinds of coverage are available in their areas and to enroll in such coverage if they so choose.*
The Marketplace is the online platform created to help people enroll in health insurance through private companies with the benefit of a tax credit for most who enroll. Companies offering health insurance through the Marketplace in Oklahoma are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BSBCOK), Bright Health, CommunityCare Oklahoma (CCOK), Medica Insurance Co., Oscar Health and United HealthCare (UHC). BCBSOK and Medica offer statewide plans while Bright, CCOK, Oscar and UHC serve limited areas of the state.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma is a not-for-profit law firm providing free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income individuals and their families and to elderly persons in the areas of family, consumer, housing, health and employment. Legal Aid attorneys and staff work through a network of fully-staffed law offices and satellite offices, serving eligible clients in all 77 counties of Oklahoma. Funding for Legal Aid is from the Legal Services Corporation, the State of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Bar Foundation, 16 United Way or United Fund organizations, aging agencies across the state and attorneys, law firms, foundations, businesses and individuals.