Note: After reading this overview, be sure to click the "Resources" tab for additional important information and resources.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) reformed healthcare in the United States to ensure that essential health benefits are available to Americans through state and federal Health Insurance Marketplaces.
The AmeriCorps VISTA program offers two healthcare benefits options to members, one for VISTA members who already have health insurance coverage and the other for those who do not.
VISTA members who have health insurance or other health coverage during their service term may enroll in the AmeriCorps VISTA Healthcare Allowance. This allowance is a reimbursement program that covers out-of-pocket costs associated with healthcare. Out-of-pocket expenses may include: your annual deductible, coinsurance, copayments, and other charges for qualified medical expenses and limited dental and vision services. The Healthcare Allowance will help offset these expenses up to $7,900 in 2019. The Healthcare Allowance does not cover costs associated with purchasing insurance, costs for non-essential health expenses, or charges associated with dependents or other individuals covered under your healthcare plan.
Examples of qualifying healthcare coverage:
- Family health insurance: If you are 26 or younger and on a parents plan, or married and covered by a spouse's plan;
- Health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace;
- Medicaid, Medicare, or military healthcare benefits; or
- Coverage available to individuals in the U.S. territories or who belong to a federally recognized tribe.
VISTA members do not have healthcare coverage during their term of service are eligible to enroll in the AmeriCorps VISTA Health Benefit Plan. The plan is available to eligible members at no cost and covers eligible expenses for medical office visits, most lab and x-ray services, limited preventive care (e.g., an annual ob-gyn visit for women), limited dental and vision, medical emergencies, surgical and hospitalization expenses, and certain prescription drug costs. It does not cover pre-existing conditions or care for dependents, including your spouse.
In addition to enrolling in one of the health benefit options above, many AmeriCorps VISTA members can access telehealth, sometimes referred to as virtual care, at no cost. Telehealth allows members to consult with board certified physicians, psychologists, social workers, and professional counselors via phone or video chat, at no cost to the member. Telehealth coverage and availability may vary by state. For more information and to access this benefit, please visit: https://americorpsvista.imglobal.com/my-benefits/connect-with-a-telehealth-provider.
International Medical Group (IMG) is the administrator of the AmeriCorps VISTA Healthcare Allowance and the AmeriCorps VISTA Health Benefit Plan. For details about either benefit, please visit: americorpsvista.imglobal.com.
At the start of your VISTA term, youll receive an email from IMG inviting you to complete a Member Enrollment Form to indicate which benefit option you would like. The form can be completed online by creating a My IMGVISTA account at americorpsvista.imglobal.com or by downloading the Member Enrollment Form and sending it to IMG. Submit the form as soon as possible (we recommend within the first 30 days of VISTA service) to ensure that you are enrolled by the deadline of 60 days from the start of your VISTA service.
Special Enrollment Period:
If youd like to purchase insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can take advantage of the special enrollment period for all AmeriCorps members. This special enrollment period gives you the opportunity to purchase insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace outside of the public open enrollment period. You have 60 days from your service start and end dates to sign-up for healthcare coverage through the marketplace. To apply for coverage under the Special Enrollment Period, contact the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. Shop for coverage and learn more about enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov.
AmeriCorps VISTA provides an optional Healthcare Allowance benefit to members who maintain health insurance coverage, a basic Healthcare Benefits Plan for those who are exempt from the requirement to have insurance, and access to free telehealth, i.e., virtual care. The resources on this page provide information about these benefits and address questions about the Affordable Care Act.
AmeriCorps VISTA Health Benefits Overview
This document summarizes the health benefit options available to VISTA members and answers frequently asked questions.
VISTA Health Benefits Portal
Explore what's covered by each VISTA Health Benefit, view lists of providers and pharmacies, create an account, and determine which option is best for you.
Access to Telehealth
Learn more about the telehealth, i.e., virtual care, program and access a telehealth provider at no cost to you.
Special Enrollment Period for AmeriCorps Members
You have 60 days from your service start and end dates to sign up for healthcare benefits through the marketplace.
Learn the meaning of various terms that are used in discussing health coverage.
If you are not able to find the answer to your questions here, please contact IMG here to speak or communicate with a specialist about the AmeriCorps VISTA Health Benefits Program. Go to HealthCare.gov for questions about ACA coverage options and assistance.