Navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace: Open Enrollment closes March 31

caresourceBy Scott Streator

Vice President, Health Insurance Marketplace

CareSource

The deadline for open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace is days away and thousands of Ohioans are still without insurance.

Health plans have seen a significant number; more than 78,925 people in Ohio have enrolled in plans that provide many an opportunity to take control of their health care.

The Health Insurance Marketplace, which is sometimes referred to as the Health Insurance Exchange, is the online marketplace that allows consumers to purchase health insurance through the website healthcare.gov.

Many people who are at a certain income level may qualify for a lower cost premium, which makes the insurance low-cost and affordable. There is a broad mix of enrollees in the CareSource plan. The demographics represent a mix of young people, families and early retirees with 86 percent of the enrollees eligible for and receiving subsidies. The Marketplace may also offer a better option for someone who is currently paying a high cost for health insurance and can no longer pay the price.

As the March 31 closing date for open enrollment gets closer residents need to consider their options. Health insurance is important for individuals and families because it allows them to access preventive care. It’s also important to get health insurance because in 2014 Americans will be required to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

By Jan. 1 the law requires consumers to have health insurance, but it allows them to be without coverage for less than three (3) consecutive months without a fine. In 2014 the tax penalty will be $95 for each adult and $47.50 for each child, but not more than $285 total per family. In 2015 the penalty will be $325 for each adult and $162.50 for each child, but not more than $975 total per family.

We have exceeded initial projections for enrollment in CareSource Just4Me. More than 15,000 consumers have enrolled in our plan designed to provide affordable-low cost health care coverage. Since February our enrollment has increased by 20 percent, which is a reflection of our comprehensive plan, and consumer trust in CareSource.

There are still thousands of people in Northeast and Northwest Ohio who don’t have the information needed to make an informed decision about coverage. To maximize efforts in the last days of the enrollment period CareSource administrators hired additional licensed agents to work in the field. These agents along with their Community Education Representatives will be working with community partners, calling on small businesses and collaborating with Enroll America and other organizations.

Providing CareSource Just4Me is an extension of the CareSource mission and we want to help consumers protect themselves and their families.

 

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