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The ACA 2015 Annual Enrollment Period doesn’t begin until November 15, 2014, but now is the perfect time to start gathering the information and documents you’ll need for 2015 coverage. Whether you’re enrolling for the first time, renewing a policy, recalculating your subsidy, or just browsing, you’ll need some basic information to get started. Healthcare.gov has a great checklist , and we’ve elaborated a bit below.

Your address – Why is this important? You’ll need the most up-to-date information to match your tax records and ensure you receive important mailings from your health plan (like your ID card, for example).

Your social security number – Generally, you should commit this number to heart. However, you can also find it printed on a social security card, which is issued to those living and working in the US and is a light blue color. If you don’t know your social security number and don’t have a card, you can visit this website to find out what you need to do to get one. Remember, only legal residents are eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

health-savvyYour income, and the income of everyone in the family. Whether or not you qualify for a subsidy – and the amount of that subsidy – depends on how much money your family makes. You’ll need to verify the income of everyone in your household, which can be done by using W2 forms, pay stubs, or other Wage and Tax Statements. You’ll also need to come up with an estimate of what you’ll make for 2015. Use previous years to get a general idea of what this might be. It’s important that this estimate be as accurate as possible.

Current health plan information – there are two parts to this: Regardless of whether or not you’re covered under a Health Marketplace plan, you need to have easy access to the policy numbers of your current plan. That information can typically be found on your insurance ID card. (If you’re a current BCBSNC customer, you can log in to mybcbsnc.com and view and print a temporary ID card.) But you will also need proof of your 2014 plan that includes your ID number; this is typically on your ID card but can also be on official correspondence from your plan. You should also keep an eye out for communication from the Health Insurance Marketplace directly, which may include additional information.

Verification that you are eligible to purchase a Marketplace Plan. CMS requires that consumers meet certain criteria before purchasing coverage on the Marketplace.  You can use their Employer Coverage tool worksheet to determine eligibility for the people in your household. Print the worksheet here: http://www.healthcare.gov/downloads/employer-coverage-tool.pdf. This worksheet needs to be completed for every job-based plan you or someone in your household may be eligible for – whether they participate in it or not. This also includes job-based coverage from a spouse or parent’s plan.

We know gathering all this information seems like a lot of work – but it’s important. Without these key documents and information, you won’t be able to accurately determine your eligibility and calculate possible subsidies. And ensuring that your information is accurate means you can avoid trouble down the road.

Do you have any questions about the Annual Enrollment Period for 2015? Let us know.

About Natania Barron

Natania Barron is a social media specialist at BCBSNC, a newbie runner, a healthy food nut, and a mother of two. She's passionate about connecting with consumers through social media and helping to deliver a personal, meaningful experience online.

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