What You Need to Enroll Health Insurance 960x650 If you’re gearing up to enroll for health insurance coverage for next year, you may be wondering what steps you need to take, what information you need to have on hand and if there’s any prep to do before dialing in to a marketplace. With Open Enrollment beginning November 15, 2014 and stretching through February 15, 2015, here’s your guide to the documents and information necessary for purchasing a plan. 1. An overview of the Marketplace. Are you totally confused on what the Marketplace even is and how it works? Read up on the basics here before you get started. You can also purchase a health insurance plan directly through insurers or private exchanges. 2. Your desired plan. Even if you currently have health care coverage through healthcare.gov, you can change your plan for 2015. While the insurance plans are set to “default” to roll your current coverage into next year automatically, there is still plenty of time for you to change your current plan. All of the available options and plans will be made available on the marketplace in early November. 3. A healthcare.gov account. Before you are able to get down to the actual business of choosing and paying for a plan, you will need to log on to here and create an account to enroll. 4. Social security numbers. Time to dig out all of the kids’ social security numbers–just be sure to stash them in a safe place to avoid any identify theft. You will need the social security number for all members of the family you will be enrolling. 5. Most recent tax return. While you don’t have to wait for your 2014 taxes to be done, you will have to be as accurate as possible when reporting your estimated household income for 2015 when applying or renewing your insurance coverage. Taking a look at your household income last year can help you gauge how much you expect your income to change in 2015. 6. Employer information and income statements. For every wage-earner in the household, the government requires information on their employer along with income information, preferably from pay stubs or a W-2 form. 7. Immigration documentation. If you are a legal immigrant, you will need one of these immigration documents to enroll. 8. Current health insurance information. If you currently have health care coverage, you will need the notices from your current insurance provider, including policy ID numbers for all members who are enrolled. 9. Employer coverage form. Before you can apply for marketplace coverage, you need to fill out this employer coverage form to see what type of employer-based insurance you may be eligible for. You don’t have to accept any of the employer-based insurances, but you do have to fill out this form before doing anything else. 10. An employer contact. To properly fill out the employer coverage form in #9, you will need to know who handles the insurance coverage and information at your employer, or your partner’s employer. Set up a time to speak with them with the form in hand, or find out if you can email your questions to them directly. 11. A number for help. If you run into trouble along the application process or simply have a question that you can’t find an answer to online, you can call The Marketplace Help Number at 1-800-318-2596. 12. A timely reminder. If you want convenient email reminders or texts to your phone when it’s time to apply and for updates along the way, sign up with your information here. Give yourself plenty of time if it’s your first time applying for coverage. You can be fined if you do not have health insurance coverage. If you are in doubt or have put off enrolling in a plan, today’s the day to take a healthy — and legal! – – step forward for you and your family.