Consumer Alert: Department of Insurance and Financial Services Reminds Consumers of Special Enrollment Periods for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Media Contact: Laura Hall, 517-290-3779, halll17@michigan.gov
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 12, 2020

(LANSING, MICH) As the state of Michigan works to increase the number of Michiganders covered by health insurance, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is alerting consumers to health insurance coverage options that may be available for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers coverage options that can supplement health care options provided by tribes and Indian Health Services. Though plans are available at different costs and with different copayments and coinsurance requirements, all ACA health plans cover Essential Health Benefits, which include doctor and emergency room visits, hospital stays, pre and post-natal care, newborn care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, rehabilitative services, laboratory tests, preventative care, and child health care.

To look at coverage options that may be available, visit the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov, where individuals can view plans and premiums without having to provide personal information. Also, tribal leadership can provide information on other options that may be available. It is important to know that American Indians and Alaska Natives can enroll in a Marketplace health insurance plan at any time, not just during open enrollment, and they can switch plans as often as once a month.

For American Indians and Alaska Natives with household incomes between 100% and 300% of the federal poverty level, a “zero cost sharing” plan may be available, which means that the insured will not have to pay any out of pocket costs such as deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance when medical care is received. For these individuals, the only cost would be the monthly insurance premium, and this premium may be reduced or eliminated completely through the advance premium tax credits (APTC) available through the Marketplace. The APTC is a tax credit that individuals can take to lower their monthly insurance premium. It is available for anyone who enrolls in coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace whose income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.

For additional information, see the new publication “Health Insurance for American Indians & Alaska Natives,” available on the DIFS website.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/difs or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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