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The Affordable Care Act is still in effect and the law for 2018.

What has changed since last year?
The Open Enrollment period to sign up for new coverage or to renew an existing plan begins today and closes on December 15th. That reduces the amount of time you have to choose a plan and enroll by 6 weeks. Additionally, the website, used to enroll through the federal marketplace will be down for maintenance on most Sundays.

Who is eligible?
If you do not receive health coverage through your employer, and are not a Medicaid or Medicare recipient, you can get coverage through the ACA exchanges. Various plans and benefits are available and you should take the time to find the plan that is best for you.

How do I sign up?

Before you start the application, you can preview the plans and see a personalized price estimate for you or for your family plan.

The first step to signing up is to start a new account or sign into your old one. The second step is to provide personal information — yours, if you signed up for individual coverage, or of all your family members if you’re choosing a family plan. Some of the details include age, income, whether you have health insurance already, and whether you need help paying for coverage.

This checklist will help you prepare for the sign-up process:

Rhode Islanders can also view plans and sign up at You can visit the website or call to receive help with signing up. The Contact Center can be reached at 855-840-4774 Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 7:00 pm and Saturdays
9 am – noon. If you would like in-person assistance you can make an appointment to visit the Contact Center at 401 Wampanoag Trail in East Providence.

HealthcareRI is also holding enrollment events in various cities across the State. There is an event in Westerly on November 6 from 10am to 3pm at the Public Library. The South Kingstown enrollment event will be held November 8 from 10am to 3pm at the Neighborhood Guild. Help signing up or renewing your plan will be available at these events as well as others listed at .

Why should I enroll?
You may need to pay a penalty for not enrolling, and more importantly, you will have access to preventative care and primary care.

“The ACA law requires most insurers to cover annual checkups and preventive care –
mammograms, vaccinations, colonoscopies and prostate cancer screenings – without a copay. That means you’re more likely to stay healthy and catch health problems early, when they’re easier and less expensive to treat. Policies also must provide a minimum standard of care known as essential health benefits in 10 categories: preventive and wellness services, ambulatory (outpatient) care services, emergency care, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, pediatric care, mental health and substance use disorder services, prescription drugs and rehabilitative and habilitative services
(specialized therapies and medical equipment to help people facing long-term disabilities).”

You may be healthy now, but the onset of a serious illness such as appendicitis, diabetes, or cancer, or a traumatic event such as car crash could leave you with enormous medical bills that can be devastating.

What insurance plans are accepted at the BI Medical Center?
Currently we accept Aetna, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of RI, Cigna, Global Benefits Group, Medicare, Medicaid of RI, Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, Tricare, Tufts and United Healthcare plans.