With just a few weeks left to select a comprehensive and affordable health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, now is the time to shop and compare. Come January 31, the Marketplace will close for the year.
For those who have not previously had health insurance coverage, the question “why?” tends to pop up. Here are five great reasons why now is the time to find the plan that best fits you and your family’s needs:
1. Preventive Healthcare – Health insurance covers a significant portion, and sometimes all, of the cost of preventive healthcare services such as health screenings, vaccinations and wellness exams. These types of preventive services are great ways to maintain good health, keep existing medical conditions from worsening, and spot health conditions before they become problematic. Without insurance, these services can be expensive and are often bypassed by uninsured.
2. Unforeseen Medical Needs – Your health can change in an instant. It is important to be prepared and able to handle any situation that comes your way. Without insurance coverage, the cost of unforeseen medical bills could have a lasting impact on your family.
3. Prescription Costs – Many health insurance plans also offer prescription benefits. If you or someone in your family is on regular medication, search for a plan that includes prescription coverage.
4. Tax Credits and Federal Subsidies – Individuals with dependents (typically children under the age of 18) covered on their insurance plans may qualify for tax credits each year. When you visit the Marketplace, the easy-to-use, online tool will inform you of any tax credits for which you are eligible. In some cases the tax credits are provided in advance of premium payments and assist with the monthly out-of-pocket expenses. Furthermore, many individuals will qualify for federal subsidies to assist with the cost of premiums. In 2015, roughly 84% of individuals insured through Marketplace plans received federal subsidies.
5. Federal Penalties – Individuals who do not have health coverage in 2016 will face steeper fines, the higher of: (1) $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, up to $2,085, or (2) 2.5% of annual income, up to the annual cost of an average bronze plan.
Logan Memorial Hospital wants to make sure that our community members understand the benefits of health insurance and are not blindsided by the penalties or other downsides of not having coverage.
Through the end of January, we have a Certified Application Counselor (CAC) on hand to help you understand your options and navigate the system. Call us at 1-888-982-9144. You can speak to our CAC over the phone or make an appointment for an in-person visit at Logan Memorial Hospital. You can also email your questions to Loganmemorialhospital.CAC@lpnt.net.