About Mercy

Affordable Care Act


Why do I need health insurance?

At CHI, we believe having health insurance is one step toward a healthier, happier life. Health insurance is a service you pay for – there to help you maintain good health through preventive care and for the unpredictable times of life when your health, or the health of a loved one, takes a turn for the worse.

What if I can’t afford healthcare insurance?

Thankfully, health insurance is available to millions more people because of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, most new enrollees qualify for financial assistance to help pay their monthly premiums. Some people even qualify for free care.

What is the Affordable Care Act?

The Affordable Care Act is a comprehensive health care reform law enacted in March 2010, with a goal to make affordable health insurance available to more people, regardless of their budget, even if they are sick or have a prior health issue.

When do I need to sign up?

If you’re uninsured, or re-enrolling for new insurance coverage for 2019, you can begin shopping for an insurance plan that fits your needs and budget. In fact, new plans and new pricing are available. For coverage starting in 2019, open enrollment begins November 1, 2018 and ends on December 15, 2018. [For Colorado, the dates are November 1, 2018 – January 15, 2019; for Minnesota the dates are November 1, 2018 – January 13, 2019.]

How do I enroll?

There are many ways to enroll:

  • Online at healthcare.gov
  • Over the phone at 1-800-318-2596
  • In person at your local CHI facility (Mercy Des Moines). You can find another local organization to help on localhelp.healthcare.gov
  • By a paper application found online at marketplace.cms.gov


Spanish speakers can find assistance at cuidadodesalud.gov

Which plan should I choose?

On healthcare.gov you may compare different levels of healthcare plans from a variety of approved insurance providers. Each has different amounts of coverage and different monthly premiums. Only one simple application is required. In-person assistance is available to help you to compare plans and coverage options.

How much will health insurance actually cost?

The cost of health insurance depends on your age, gender, income and tobacco use. On healthcare.gov you can estimate how much having health insurance will actually cost you on an annual basis as you select different products depending on how often you expect to see a doctor, get lab tests done, refill prescriptions, etc. Even if you only go to the doctor a few times a year, health insurance can be very economical. CHI also offers financial counselors to answer any additional questions at (877) 721-6504.

What does my health insurance plan include?

All marketplace plans must cover 10 essential health benefits:

  • Ambulatory patient services (outpatient services)
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services (those that help patients acquire, maintain, or improve skills necessary for daily functioning) and devices
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care


Preventive services are provided for free – without an additional copay or coinsurance. Screenings may also be available based on certain criteria and conditions, and all these services will be available through a provider in your designated health care network.

If you have a preferred provider, your choice of insurance plans will be important. Check to ensure your preferred providers participate in your new plan.

(515) 247-3121
1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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