HealthSource annual open enrollment period begins

PROVIDENCE – The annual open enrollment period for HealthSource RI, the state’s health insurance marketplace, has officially begun.

Gov. Daniel J. McKee and HealthSource RI announced Wednesday that uninsured Rhode Islanders have have until Dec. 23 to pick and pay for coverage that would start Jan. 1, 2024. The last possible day to enroll and pay for a 2024 plan under open enrollment is Jan. 31, 2024 for coverage that begins Feb. 1, 2024, according to a news release.

“Rhode Island is a national leader in health coverage, and in this vital time for staying covered, the health and well-being of each and every Rhode Islander remains a priority,” said McKee. “We’re fortunate that HealthSource RI continues to provide Rhode Islanders with affordable options for high-quality coverage. Applying is easy and I encourage Rhode Islanders in need of health coverage to compare plans and find the one that works best for them.”

Currently there are more than 32,000 people enrolled in health plans through HealthSource RI, according to a news release. Since 2013, the insurer has also decreased the uninsured rate by more than two thirds and in 2022 the state hit a milestone when it reached a historic high of 97% Rhode Islanders with health coverage. 

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“Rhode Island ranks among the top in the nation for its rate of insured citizens,” said HealthSource RI Director Lindsay Lang. “At HealthSource RI, we constantly strive to make it easier and more appealing for Rhode Islanders to find high-quality health coverage options that fit their needs and their budgets, through HSRI’s range of offerings. Our focus on helping people to get and stay insured is one we take seriously, and we look forward to another year of serving individuals and families, as well as our small employer group policy customers.”

This year, HealthSource says it has also worked to help insure Rhode Islanders whose Medicaid eligibility may be ending. As part of a program introduced by the state and with financial support from McKee’s budget initiative, a segment of the population is enrolled directly into a plan offered through HealthSource through an auto-enrollment program meant to help those at highest risk of health insurance, according to a news release. Those in need of financial assistance may also qualify to receive two months worth of premium support. 

Since Medicaid renewals began in spring 2023, HealthSource has enrolled more than 3,700 former Medicaid customers. Approximately 40% of those customers through auto-enrollment and the remaining 60% actively enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan, according to a news release.

To inform Rhode Islanders of their coverage options, enrollment assistants will hold the first of several virtual informational sessions specifically for open enrollment at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Those interested in signing up for the event or looking for information on other sessions can visit HealthSourceRI.com/events. The center’s usual call center hours are weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and expanded during the open enrollment period to until 9 p.m. Tuesday and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. During these hours web chat services will be available on HealthSourceRI.com, in both English and Spanish for people to ask questions, reset passwords and get enrollment support from a live expert.

Along with the live web chat tool, enrollment support is also available in-person, via phone or virtually through HealthSource’s Navigator agencies. People can also make appointments for assistance at HealthSource’s walk-in center at 401 Wampanoag Trail in East Providence. Appointments can be booked at HealthSourceRI.com/OE. Enrollment support is also available by calling 855-840-4774.

HealthSource has also made updates to its Plan Comparison and Savings Tool, which lets families update their monthly premium and out-of-pocket costs, identify financial help and find in-network doctors, according to a news release.

Katie Castellani is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at Castellani@PBN.com.