Time is Running Out to Sign Up for Health Insurance for 2015
The Affordable Care Act requires Americans who do not currently have health insurance to purchase it either directly from a health insurance company or through a health insurance exchange like Covered California. Those needing to purchase insurance, or make changes to an existing policy have until February 15th, when the Open Enrollment period ends.
Who Should Enroll?
Most Americans who are not yet covered by a health insurance plan, including those eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) should plan to enroll. If you are covered by a job-based plan or a plan you purchased yourself, there is no need to participate in Open Enrollment. However, those who purchased a plan last year and want to change their plan can also do so during this enrollment period.
Note: It’s possible to apply for Medicaid and CHIP any time of year. Those who qualify can receive immediate coverage.
Plans sold through the health insurance exchanges cover a wide range essential health benefits such as (but not limited to) prescription drugs, emergency services, and hospitalization. In addition to this, pre-existing conditions and preventative care are also covered.
What if I don’t enroll by February 15th?
Those who do not enroll by February 15th, and do not already have coverage in 2015 will pay a penalty of either 2% of their income or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child (whichever is higher). Some may qualify for an exemption from the fee if they’re uninsured for only 1 or 2 consecutive months per year, if the lowest-priced coverage available to them costs more than 8% of their household income, if they’re a member of a federally recognized tribe (eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider), or meet one of the other criteria listed on the Exemptions from the Payment page of the Healthcare.gov website.
To learn more about participating in Open Enrollment within California, please visit http://www.coveredca.com/. For questions about whether or not your specific plan is accepted by Owens, please feel free to contact us. Owens Healthcare contracts with many insurance companies and managed care organizations across the country.