Open Enrollment is Here Despite Hurricanes and Wildfires.

It’s Open Enrollment!

Participating in open enrollment is essential even if you have been affected by the hurricanes and wildfires or are dealing with other pressing issues.

It is open enrollment for both Medicare and the ACA in November and early December of 2017. Trump has talked a lot about repealing the Affordable Care Act and cutting Medicare and Social Security, but both the ACA and Medicare are still the law.

Despite uncertainty and other concerns, please make sure you look at your options and the changes in your current plan for 2018, so you can make the best decisions possible for yourself and those in your care.

You can phone your health insurance company directly, visit the or website, or call an insurance agent or navigator.

What If You Were Affected by Hurricanes, Floods, or Wildfires?

If you live in an area designated as a major disaster or an emergency by FEMA, you can get help. If you have Medicare, see Getting Care and Drugs in Disasters or Emergencies. If your area was recognized by FEMA as being a disaster because of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Maria, or Hurricane Irma, you might qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Contact the call center at

5 Mistakes to Avoid During Open Enrollment

  1. Don’t ignore open enrollment because of other life issues.
  2. Check on how your plan will change from year to year. Costs and benefits are likely to change from one year to the next. Make sure you ask about the changes and how they affect you.
  3. Don’t choose a plan based on the cost of the premium. If you are healthy and don’t take many medications, you may not use your medical insurance except for emergencies. However, low-cost plans may have high co-payments or deductibles. Try to choose plans you can afford to use if you need them.
  4. Whatever your Medical insurance choices, be sure to consider what is best for you. It may not be the same plan that is best for other people you know.
  5. Check to see if you qualify for help with costs. Both ObamaCare insurance under the ACA and Medicare insurance have cost assistance. Please ask.


We know that many American citizens may be tempted to ignore open enrollment this year. Our country has been devastated by natural disasters; many people no longer have homes, mail delivery, or phone signals. However, your health is too important to ignore. Please reach out for help when you can.

Author: Linda DeSolla Price

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