12/19/13 Uninsured Hoosiers have less than a week to meet an important deadline with the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. The Indiana Hospital Association, the Indiana Primary Health Care Association and Covering Kids and Families of Indiana, Inc. are encouraging those in need of coverage starting on Jan. 1, 2014 to apply through the program operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) before Dec. 23.
Since launching in October, the Health Insurance Marketplace has allowed eligible Hoosiers to compare health insurance options and enroll in a plan that meets both their needs and their budget. The six-month open enrollment period for the first year of this program runs from Oct.1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. However, in order for an individual to be covered on Jan. 1, they must sign up and make the first payment to a qualified health plan by Dec. 23. Hoosiers will still be able to enroll through the end of March, but many health care organizations across the state are encouraging Hoosiers not to wait.
“If there is anyone who has put off looking at their options, now is the time to check out the Marketplace,” said David Roos, Executive Director of Covering Kids and Families of Indiana, Inc. “Much improvement has been made to the website and there are many community events scheduled by providers and community organizations across the state to help people through the process.” To find a list of some of the events scheduled, Hoosiers can access http://www.ckfindiana.org/calendar.
“Community health centers have employed and trained more than 100 navigators, all of whom are available throughout the state to assist Hoosiers in selecting the right option for themselves and their families,” said Philip Morphew, CEO of the Indiana Primary Health Care Association.
“Having insurance coverage is essential to an individual’s or family’s financial security, but it is also essential for improving the overall health status of our communities,” said IHA President Doug Leonard. “Helping to cover more of our patients and provide them access to preventative services will bend the long-term health care cost curve for everyone.”
Approximately 880,000 Hoosiers under the age of 65 do not have health insurance. Marketplace eligibility is generally available to middle-income people under age 65 who are not covered for health care benefits through their employer, Medicaid or Medicare. All plans must cover doctor visits, hospital stays, preventive care and
prescriptions, and no one can be denied coverage if they have a pre-existing condition. Low-cost plans and financial help is available to Hoosiers based on annual income through tax credits.
To enroll in the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace, or for more information and assistance from a certified individual, Hoosiers can access healthcare.gov.