02/24/14 Hoosiers have less than six weeks until open enrollment closes for 2014 under the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace. Indiana Hospital Association is encouraging those in need of coverage to apply through the program operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) before the 2014 deadline of March 31.
According to HHS almost 48,000 Indiana residents have enrolled in one of four coverage plans under the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace since open enrollment began Oct. 1, 2013.
”We are pleased to see improvements in the number of Hoosiers who have enrolled in a coverage plan since the program launched last year,” said IHA President Doug Leonard. “But, there are still thousands of uninsured Hoosiers who have yet to sign up. With open enrollment coming to a close in March, now is the time to visit the Marketplace.”
According to Leonard, health care providers and other organizations across the state are helping uninsured Hoosiers learn about and apply for health care coverage under the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace.
“Hospitals and other statewide groups are looking for ways to educate people as we approach the final weeks of enrollment,” said Leonard. “When more people have access to health care coverage, we will improve the overall health and well-being of our state.”
The Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace allows 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 coverage in 2014 ends March 31 with a deadline of March 15 for Hoosiers wanting coverage to begin by April 1. For coverage beginning May 1, Hoosiers must enroll in a plan between March 16 and March 31.
Approximately 880,000 Hoosiers under the age of 65 do not have health insurance. 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 are available for those who qualify based on annual income through tax credits.
People who do not enroll in a coverage plan by March 31 will not be able to receive health care coverage until the next enrollment period begins, and may be subject to pay a penalty fee. The next open enrollment period for coverage starting in 2015 begins November 15, 2014.
To enroll in the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace, or for more information and assistance from a certified individual, Hoosiers can accesshealthcare.gov.