The Medicare open enrollment period began on October 15 and ends December 7. HealthSourceRI open enrollment begins November 1 and ends January 31, 2024. Medicaid renewals are ongoing.
Last-reviewed: 12pm, Nov. 13, 2023
Medicare and Medicaid
- Uninsured Rhode Islanders eligible for Medicaid can apply at any time through HealthSourceRI. More information about immigrant-specific eligibility (ESP).
- The Medicare open enrollment period, when members can change plans, began on October 15 and ends December 7. More information here.
- Information about Medicare plans, including special enrollment periods, can be found here. Justice in Aging has factsheets with helpful information for Medicare, Medicaid and people in same sex relationships, here, and Medicare and transgender older adults, here. In addition, there is a factsheet for people who assist dually eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) enrollees during the Medicaid reenrollments, here.
- Medicaid renewals have begun. People covered by Medicaid should update their information immediately, if they haven’t done so already, and should be sure to respond to any notices mailed or e-mailed to them. Members can update their information on their HealthyRhode account and check for when their renewal is scheduled. There is more information at StayCovered.RI.gov.
- Before a family has gone through the renewal process, this helpful factsheet in English and in Spanish from Protect Our Healthcare RI will be helpful.
- After a person has received a termination notice or learned their Medicaid has been terminated at a medical appointment or when they try to pick up their medication, this factsheet from Protect Our Healthcare RI provides important information about rights and strategies to maintain or reinstate Medicaid, if eligible.
- If someone loses their Medicaid coverage and is no longer eligible for Medicaid, they will be enrolled in an insurance plan through HealthSource and two months of premiums will be paid by the state. More information here.
- If someone loses their Medicaid coverage but thinks they are still eligible, they should follow the instructions on the notice and appeal the decision. They can also call the RIPIN call center for questions and support with their appeal.
HealthSourceRI and Private Health Insurance
- HealthSourceRI is the first stop in Rhode Island for individuals and families looking for health insurance, whether through Medicaid, subsidized through the marketplace, or direct pay without subsidies.
- Open enrollment for private insurance (with or without subsides) through HealthSourceRI begins on November 1 and continues through January 31.
- HealthSource RI has several special enrollment opportunities outside the open enrollment period for people who have qualifying events.
Access to healthcare and public health information
Free and low-cost healthcare
- A list of community health centers and free clinics, where people can access free or low-cost medical, dental and behavioral health services, is maintained by the Department of Health here.
- BHDDH has information for people seeking behavioral healthcare services here.
Immunization and COVID information
- General information from the Rhode Island Department of Health regarding immunization is here.
- COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are available for eligible people. The vaccine is free at doctors’ offices, federally qualified health centers, and pharmacies participating in the BRIDGE program. More vaccine information here.
- Free COVID tests are available from the federal government. Go to COVIDtests.gov to sign up.
- Track COVID levels here; influenza here; and RSV here.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline and other Behavioral Healthcare Resources
- 988 is a new national suicide prevention hotline, for phone calls and texts. It does not replace 911 for emergencies, but rather connects people who are experiencing a mental health crisis to a counselor. FAQ here. Services are available in English and Spanish, with interpreter services available for hundreds of other languages. There are also specialized services available to LGBTQIA+ youth at 988; select the prompt when texting or calling. TTY users dial 711 then 988 or people can use their preferred relay service.
- The Department of Behavioral Healthcare Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals has this resource guide for young people transitioning into adulthood which has information about healthcare, employment, decision making and more.
- KidsLink is a triage and referral line for parents and caregivers seeking behavioral healthcare for their children.
The Bottom Line
- Care teams can help people connect to health insurance through HealthSourceRI and can share factsheets from Protect Our Healthcare RI which provide information about Medicaid renewals and appeal rights and strategies.
Spotlight on Consumer Rights:
- Care teams can help people access health insurance by connecting them to two different services offered by RIPIN.
- RIPIN’s Healthcare Advocate assists people covered by Medicare and Medicaid with insurance-related challenges such as billing disputes or coverage denials. Contact the Advocate here.
- RIREACH also helps people with questions about any insurance, including Medicaid and private insurance. RI helps people navigate insurance company denials, eligibility requirements, and billing. Contact RIREACH at 401-270-0101 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In addition, care teams can share this tool from ProPublica that patients who are denied insurance coverage might use to request the information that was used to deny their request. Patients should know that they should not let any appeal deadline pass while waiting to receive the information – deadlines are on the notice of denial, which you might direct the patient to, or might read together with the patient.