You can be a confident health insurance shopper!

Smart Choice helps you make the best possible decision when choosing a health insurance plans for you and your family.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare,” was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The Open Enrollment period for 2015 coverage is November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.

Experience from last year’s enrollment in and usage of health insurance has taught us that many consumers are confused about insurance terms such as co-payment, deductible and co-insurance. People are also unsure of how these features actually work – how much has to be paid out of pocket and how much the health insurance policy will pay.

Michigan State University Extension offers a free tool that helps consumers become confident with purchasing and using health insurance. The Smart Choice Health Insurance curriculum allows individuals, who lack health insurance or need to buy insurance on the individual marketplace and want to know more about their options under the ACA, to learn how to make the best health insurance choice for themselves and their families by learning important terms and concepts, important financial considerations and fitting it all into their household spending plan/budget.

The Smart Choice Consumer Workbook is an excellent tool to assist those who need to make choices regarding Medicare. Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: “Medicare beneficiaries who want to make changes to their prescription drug plans or Medicare Advantage coverage can do so starting Oct. 15 during the Medicare’s program’s annual open enrollment period. There will be somewhat fewer plans to pick from this year, but in general people will have plenty of options, experts say. Rather than rely on the sticker price of a plan alone, it’s critical that beneficiaries compare the available options in their area to make sure they’re in the plan that covers the drugs and doctors they need at the best price”.

In addition, From Coverage to Care is an initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to support people with new health coverage, understand their benefits and use them appropriately to connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them. If you would like to receive the From Coverage to Care booklet, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to request your copy.

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