Rockville, Maryland ― Open enrollment in the Federal or State health insurance marketplace ends March 31. More than 4 million Americans have already signed up for insurance through the marketplace, but for the estimated 48 million who are still uninsured, the sign-up process can be daunting.
We’ve compiled these three tips to help you successfully navigate the health insurance marketplace to find coverage and avoid the penalty. For most people, being uninsured in 2014 will mean paying a penalty of 1 percent of their income, or $95 per uninsured adult, on their 2014 taxes.
- Sign up. You can submit an application for health coverage online by creating an account at HealthCare.gov, or by downloading and printing the appropriate forms. If you are eligible for coverage, you will receive a notice informing you of your coverage options.
- Choose your coverage. There are five coverage categories to choose from: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Catastrophic. Some important tips to remember when considering health insurance categories:
- All categories offer the same essential health benefits and quality of care, but differ in premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
- The lower the premium payments in a category, the higher the out-of-pocket costs. Bronze plans have the lowest premiums but high out-of-pocket costs, while Platinum plans have the highest premiums and the lowest out-of-pocket costs. Silver and Gold plans fall somewhere in the middle.
- Catastrophic plans provide coverage in worst-case scenarios such as serious accidents or long-term illnesses, and have very high deductibles.
- Enroll. After choosing an insurance plan in your preferred category, you can enroll and send in your first premium payment. Qualified individuals can get a Premium Tax Credit to help pay the cost of their premiums on health insurance purchased through the marketplace.
“With increased opportunities to enroll in health insurance, we are well on our way to improving the health of the Nation,” said BLH President and CEO Benjamin L. Harris. “As a company, we are excited by the possibilities for increasing overall public health.”
BLH Technologies is a professional and technical services firm offering talent and skill to Federal and State governments and private-sector businesses in four core areas: (1) communications and outreach, (2) data analytics and research, (3) safety monitoring, and (4) technology solutions. BLH’s Web site is www.blhtech.com.