Health Insurance Exchange Open Enrollment
Open enrollment for obtaining insurance through the Health Insurance Exchanges will run from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. Individuals seeking to obtain insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace or change their current Marketplace insurance plan will need to do so during this time period.
Individuals who have already obtained insurance through employers, family members, non-marketplace health plans, or previously purchased marketplace insurance will not need to apply for insurance through the Marketplace unless informed otherwise. While individuals can purchase insurance outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace, individuals who are eligible for tax credits or cost sharing assistance are required to apply through the Health Insurance Marketplace in order to obtain these benefits. Individuals or families earning between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (about $27,850-$95,400 yearly income for a family of four) will be eligible for some type of assistance when obtaining insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Individuals not already insured can apply online at HealthCare.gov. Individuals who need to make changes to their current insurance will receive a letter containing special instructions on how to do so. Those who are uninsured during the 2015 calendar year will be assessed a fine on their 2015 income taxes.
2014 marked the first year individuals would be fined for being uninsured. This fine will be assessed during the 2014 tax season. Fines for being uninsured for 2014 will be $95.00 per uninsured individual, or 1% of yearly household income. People with certain income levels and other special circumstances are exempt from these fees. The fee will increase for individuals uninsured during the 2015 calendar year. Premium tax credit assistance for insurance will also be evaluated when filing 2014 taxes based on income levels.
The Library has partnered with the Southwest Missouri Office on Aging to provide on-site sign-up assistance at The Library Center. To make an appointment, call 417-616-0542. A variety of other organizations in our area provide assistance as well. Lists of organizations providing sign-up assistance can be found at the healthcare.gov website and from Cover Missouri.
The following resources offer more information on the Health Insurance Marketplace:
- HealthCare.gov (http://www.healtcare.gov) is the website individuals will use to sign up for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. This website contains information on how the Marketplace works and who is eligible for insurance through the Marketplace, as well as a directory of organizations providing local assistance.
- Cover Missouri (http://www.covermissouri.org/) is a project by the Missouri Foundation for Health designed to keep individuals informed about the Health Insurance Marketplace. They post current news, resources, and information about legislative issues associated with the Health Insurance Marketplace.
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