Rhode Island Health Coverage Project     

A joint initiative of The Economic Progress Institute and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT

Latest RI Health Coverage Project News

Health Insurance for People Who Are Uninsured

Although open enrollment for coverage through HealthSource RI has closed, people who are uninsured may have up to 60 days to enroll in a HealthSource RI plan under certain circumstances.
These include:
  • You recently lost health insurance coverage:
    • from a job
    • from college coverage
    • from parent’s coverage at age 26
    • no longer covered by another government health plan like Medicaid/RIte Care
  • You recently moved to Rhode Island
  • Your household size has changed due to marriage, divorce, a new child
  • Your immigration status has changed–you gained lawful status or became a U.S. citizen.
For more information about these “Special Enrollment Periods” go to the SEP Health Source RI page.
For enrollment assistance you can visit the HealthSource RI contact center at 401 Wampanoag Trail, East Providence, Monday – Friday, 8am – 7 pm or you can call 855-840-4774.
HealthSource RI is hosting two enrollment sessions for currently uninsured Rhode islanders who want to enroll in coverage:

Health Insurance Coverage and Taxes

Under the Affordable Care Act, most people are required to show they had health insurance coverage in 2016 or they may need to pay a penalty when they file their taxes. People covered by Medicaid, Medicare or through their job received a Form 1095 B or C showing the months of coverage during 2016. These forms do not need to be provided with the tax return, the filer just needs to check the box on the tax return confirming they had health insurance.

People who bought coverage through HealthSource RI received a Form 1095-A. This document shows the months in which household members were enrolled as well as the amount of premium tax credit the household received during 2016. The filer uses the information on this form to complete tax Form 8962: Premium Tax credit which is filed with the tax return. Most people took their 2016 tax credit “in advance” – using the credit to help pay for monthly premiums. The amount of premium tax credit the household received during 2016, was based on expected income. At tax filing time there is a reconciliation between the amount of tax credit received and the actual amount of tax credit to which the household is entitled. If the tax credit received was too much, the filer will need to pay back the difference. If it was too little, the filer is entitled to the additional amount.
The penalty for not having health insurance during 2016 is $695 per adult, $347.50 per child, up to $2985 per family or 2.5% of income – whichever is more.
There are exemptions from the penalty including: a short coverage gap (2 consecutive months), affordability (it would cost more than 8.05% of income to buy coverage), and major life events.
RIREACH can help people who have questions about the tax forms and exemptions from the penalty. RIREACH can help if a person needs to make corrections to the 1095-A or apply for an exemption.  Call 855-747-3224. (855-RIREACH)
Free help filing taxes is available for people with modest income and for seniors. Call 2-1-1 to find a local VITA site or check out our listing of RI VITA sites.
For more information about taxes and health insurance check out this info-graphic. You can also refer to this tax season FAQ to learn more about how to file your taxes.

DHS Updated Office Hours

DHS continues to have extended hours in some of its offices on Saturdays and weekdays. Saturday hours are only on the first Saturday of the month. Here is updated information about office locations and hours.

Office Regular Expanded Hours
M – F Tues & Weds First Sat. of the Month*
 Pawtucket 8:30am – 4:00pm N/A  8:30am -12:30pm
 Providence 8:30am – 4:00pm  4:00pm – 6:30pm  8:30am -12:30pm
 Woonsocket 8:30am – 4:00pm  4:00pm – 6:30pm  8:30am -12:30pm
Warwick 8:30am – 4:00pm  N/A   8:30am -12:30pm
Newport 8:30am – 4:00pm  N/A N/A
South County 8:30am – 4:00pm  N/A N/A

*Except April 1, 2017

For addresses and phone numbers check out the DHS regional offices page.

Factsheets

  • Immigrant Eligibility for Health Insurance
  • Dental Coverage
  • Health Care Resources for People Who Can’t Get Health Insurance

Click here to see these & other Rhode Island Health Coverage Factsheets.

Health Insurance for People who are Uninsured

The type of health insurance available to you and your family depends on your income. Adults with income below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) may be eligible for RIte Care/Medicaid. The RIte Care/Medicaid income limits for children and pregnant women are higher.

Individuals and families with income above the RIte Care/Medicaid limits can buy coverage through Health Source RI (HSRI). Tax credits are available to help pay for coverage if income is below 400% FPL and if income is less than 250% FPL you can also get help paying for out-of-pocket costs (cost-sharing reduction).

HOW TO ENROLL
• Apply on-line at www.HealthSourceRI.com.
• Call 1-855-840-4774 to enroll over the phone.
• Enroll in-person at the HSRI contact center at 401 Wampanoag Trail, East Providence
• Enroll in-person with a community-based Navigator. (Call 2-1-1 to find a navigator in your community or check this brochure.).

WHEN TO ENROLL
• Individuals and families who are eligible for Medicaid/RIte Care coverage can enroll at any time.
• The Open Enrollment period for HealthSource RI plans closed on January 31, 2016, and reopens in November, 2016. Until open enrollment in November, people who are uninsured because of life changes such as losing health insurance at a job, giving birth or adopting a child, marriage/divorce, a death in the family, or moving to Rhode Island can enroll in a HealthSource RI plan. It’s important to apply for coverage soon after the life-changing event. For more information click here for a factsheet about the special circumstances for enrolling in coverage through HSRI. You can also download a poster explaining eligibility for HSRI coverage here.

HealthSource RI also hosts enrollment sessions for currently uninsured Rhode islanders who want to enroll in coverage:

Workshops & Webinars

Click here to see other Rhode Island Health Coverage Workshops and Webinars


Helpful Websites

Click here to see additional helpful health care links

INFORMATION ABOUT 2013 RITE CARE RENEWALS: More than 40,000 families who had RIte Care health insurance in 2013 will need to renew their insurance ONLINE between June  and November of 2014. Below is information on how to help, a copy of the notices and a printable flyer. All families should start the renewal process as soon as possible.  They do not need to wait to receive the yellow renewal notice, they can renew.

2013 RIte Care Renewal Flyer:  Share our flyer on how families who were on RIte Care in 2013 can renew (English and en Español)

Webinar:   Recording of our webinar for Community Helpers that explains how to help families renew their insurance and more about the rolling renewal option.
Business Process Plan: Help make sure families who come to your agency know about RIte Care renewal.  See our Business Process Plan to help your organization think about how to make sure everyone you work with stays covered.

Notices:  The Executive Office of Health and Human Services has sent a series of notices to families who need to renew their RIte Care Coverage.

Press and alerts:  Read our recent press releases and newsletters about the RIte Care renewal process.

Preparing for 2016: Renewals, Open Enrollment and Consumer Assistance Workshop Materials
September 22, 2015

On September 22, 2014, the Health Coverage Project hosted a workshop attended by over 150 community helpers. The workshop included presentations by staff from the Department of Human Services, HealthSource RI, RI Health Center Association, RIREACH, RI Parent Information Network, RI Legal Services, and our Project Staff. Topics included the basics of coverage and Medicaid renewal, HealthSource RI open enrollment and renewal, and Community Assistance.Link to Workshop Materials

Getting Covered / Staying Covered Workshop

Workshop Materials

December 9, 2014

On December 9, 2014, the Health Coverage Project hosted a workshop of approximately 150 community helpers. The workshop included presentations by staff from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, HealthSource RI and our Project Staff.  Topics included the basics of coverage, Medicaid renewal, HealthSource RI enrollment and renewal, and Consumer Assistance.Link to Workshop Materials

Health Coverage: How Did RI Do? What Now?  

Workshop Materials

May 20, 2014



Countdown to Coverage: Ready for Lift Off!
Workshop Materials
September 26, 2013
 

 

Countdown to Coverage: Ready for Lift Off! PowerPoint Presentation– an overview of the Affordable Care Act, how Medicaid is evolving inRhode Island, and how Rhode Islanders will access affordable coveragethrough HealthSource RI.

Countdown to Coverage 2014 – a fact sheet about Rhode Island’s options for affordable health coverage.

What’s Next for RIte Care?-a chart addressing the changes that will be happening in RIte Care inthe next 3 months and after January 1, 2014. There is also a federalpoverty level chart.

Health Care for People who are Uninsured– a contact list for those who are uninsured now and may continue to bebecause of certain circumstances (i.e. immigrant status).

Health Coverage Project Overview – a description of the Project and its goals.

 

HEALTHSOURCE RI MATERIALS

HealthSource RI Application Presentation– shows screen shots of the online application process and wherecommunity helpers will be able to direct applicants who need additionalassistance.

HealthSource RI Fact Sheet for Individuals (Eng.)

HealthSource RI Fact Sheet for Individuals (Span.)

 

 

Countdown to Coverage
Workshop Materials
May 22, 2013

Countdown to Coverage: Health Care Reform in Rhode Island – A presentation about changes in access to RIte Care and Medicaid coverage and new opportunities for affordable private insurance through the Exchange as well as how people can access health care now.

Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange: Communications Discussion – A presentation from Megan Hall of the Exchange giving an update on the Exchange’s progress and the outreach and education plan.

Letter to the Community – a letter from the Exchange requesting those agencies interested in helping with outreach and enrollment to fill out the contact form and return it to the Exchange.

Exchange Fact Sheet – for individuals and small businesses.

Contact Form – for those who would like to receive e-mails from specific organizations.

Family Resource Counselors List – contact information for family resource counselors in Rhode Island.

RIte Care order form – for those who would like more of the RIte Care materials provided at the workshop.

Who is the ACA Helping?

About The Rhode Island Health Coverage Project

 

 

 

  • Health Reform: Seven Things You Need to Know to be Ready: This publication from Consumer Reports provides an overview of the changes and new options that consumers and those shopping for coverage can expect in 2014.
  • Health Reform: Seven Things You Need to Know Now: This Consumer Reports publication is your guide to understanding the law (Affordable Care Act). They cannot cover every possible situation or detail, but highlight the major changes that consumers need to know about to take advantage of the full benefits of health reform come January 1, 2014. (This publication is also available in Spanish.)
  • Designing the essential health benefits for your state:  An advocates guide:  Consumer advocates have a great opportunity to involve themselves as their states choose their benchmark plans and define their essential health benefits packages. This resource includes an overview of the requirements that a state’s essential health benefits package will need to meet and outlines the process for defining these benefits using a benchmark plan. It also provides steps advocates can take to engage in the benchmark plan selection process and to advocate for a comprehensive essential health benefits package in their state.
  • Health Reform Hits Main Street: Confused about how the new health reform law really works? This short, animated movie explains the problems with the current health care system, the changes that are happening now, and the big changes coming in 2014. (video from Kaiser Family Foundation, also available in Spanish.)
  • Implementation Timeline: The implementation timeline is an interactive tool designed to explain how and when the provisions of the health reform law will be implemented over the next several years. (from the Kaiser Family Foundation)
  • What Will Health Care Do for You?: An interactive grid that lets you choose your health insurance status to find out what health care will do for you. (from Health Care for America Now)

Health Care Reform Background

Congress passed The Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the law in 2012.  The ACA was created so that nearly all Americans would have access to affordable health insurance through commercial or public coverage, health care costs would be controlled, and the health care delivery system would be improved.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has primary responsibility for guiding implementation of the ACA and providing information to consumers and others. On January 13, 2011, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an Executive Order creating the RI Health Care Reform Commission, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts, to oversee all aspects of ACA implementation.  On September 19, 2011, the Governor signed another Executive Order creating the RI Health Benefits Exchange, responsible for developing the Exchange website where people will be able to compare health insurance plans, purchase insurance and apply for Medicaid or subsidies to help pay for private coverage.  Small business will also be able to purchase coverage through the Exchange.

HealthSourceRI extends 2014 sign-up to December 23 (WPRI, 11.24.2013)

RIte Care dropping health coverage for 6,500 parents; children will retain coverage (ProJo, 11.15.2013)

Health Insurance Premiums Revealed (Projo, 8.21.2013)

RI Reveals How Much Obamacare Plans will Cost (WPRI, 8.20.2013)

HealthSource RI Roles out Health Insurance Exchange Rates (RINPR, 8.20.2013)

Health Insurance Debate Rages on as Obamacare Creeps Closer (RINPR, 8.19.2013)

Amid Health Law Expansion, Some States Trim Medicaid Rolls (Kaiser Health News, 8.19.2013)

Rhode Island’s Obamacare marketplace will open Oct. 1 as HealthSource RI (WPRI, 7.15.13)

RI’s Version of Obamacare gets New Name and Logo, Opens Call Center (Projo, 7.15.13)

Eight R.I. Health Centers Get Funding to Enroll Uninsured (Projo, 7.11.13)

Health Centers to Help Uninsured Americans Gain Affordable Health Coverage (USHHS, 7.10.13)

Recap: Most Significant Health Legislation this Session (RINPR, 7.10.13)

Study: Obamacare to Subsidize Insurance for 83,000 in Rhode Island (WPRI 6.10.2013)

36 Hours Behind Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange (Govt. Tech., 5.22.2013)

R.I. Exchange Little Known (Projo, 5.22.2013)

Wealth of Plans Set for Uninsured (Projo, 5.16.13)

Exchange Set for June Rebranding (PBN, 5.13.13)

Exchange’s Funding Questioned (Projo, 4.8.13)

Into the Exchange (Projo Editorial, 1.30.13)

R.I must move health exchange to the fore (PBN Editorial, 1.28.13)

Speed bumps ahead for the health-benefits exchange? (PBN, 1.26.13

RI signs contract to develop the computer system for the Health Benefits Exchange and modernize the state’s Medicaid and human services programs. (Projo, 1.26.13)

Federal government gives conditional approval to RI’s health exchange plan (Projo, 12.20.12)

Navigator Resource Guide – Supplemental guide prepared for trained community Navigators by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University.

Frequently Asked Questions about Health Reform – An extensive list of FAQs and educated answers provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Zooming in on Health Reform– understanding the potential impact of the ACA on Medicaid and the uninsured at the local level

HealthRIght -has a mission to enact health care reform that ensures high-quality, accessible, sustainable and affordable health care and healthier lives for all Rhode Islanders.

Community Catalyst – works with advocates across the country to make sure consumers have a role in transforming health care in their communities.

Kaiser Family Foundation – provides in-depth information on key health policy issues.

Families USA – nonprofit advocacy organization that offers resources on finding, choosing, and using health coverage.

Georgetown University Center for Children and Families – an independent, nonpartisan policy and research center with a mission to expand and improve health coverage for America’s children and families.

The Project’s Leadership Team represents diverse consumer interests and helps to guide the work of the Project to meet the needs of the Rhode Island consumer.

  • Center for Southeast Asians
  • City of Providence, Health Communities Office
  • Community Action Partnership of Providence
  • The Economic Progress Institute (Project Lead)
  • East Bay Community Action
  • The Genesis Center
  • HealthRIght
  • Parent Support Network
  •  Rhode Island Free Clinic
  • Rhode Island Health Center Association
  •  Rhode Island KIDS COUNT (Project Lead)
  •   Rhode Island Parent Information Network
  •  Rhode Island State Council of Churches