We are officially in the middle of the Health Insurance Marketplace second open enrollment period. The Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace is a website that allows you to compare health insurance plans and purchase a plan that best fits your needs. You can use the Missouri Marketplace if you:
- Are an individual or family buying insurance on your own
- Don’t have access to affordable coverage through your job
Last year, during the first open enrollment period, approximately 85% of Missourians who signed up for Marketplace plans were eligible for financial assistance to help lower health care costs. This year, a family of four making between $23,850 and $95,400 a year qualifies for advance tax credits which lower the monthly payment for health insurance premiums. A family of four making less than $59,775 per year is also eligible for cost-saving reductions that will lower out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance. Learn more about financial help that is available.
Most individuals and families must enroll in a Marketplace plan before February 15, 2015, to receive coverage for 2015. However, there are options available to enroll in coverage outside of the open enrollment period. For example, you can qualify for a special enrollment period if you have a baby, adopt a child or place a child in foster care. You can also receive a special enrollment period if you get married or lose job-based coverage. If you qualify, you can apply for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program at any time.
You may know that the Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. If you do not have health insurance in 2015, the penalty is whichever is larger for you:
- 2% of your yearly household income, or
- A flat dollar amount - $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, but not more than $975 for a family
There are some exemptions to the requirement to have insurance. The penalty is prorated for the number of months you are uninsured during the year. If you are uninsured for fewer than three months, you are allowed a grace period and will not be penalized.
Know your options, ask questions and make good decisions about your healthcare options. Freeman is here to help you navigate the Affordable Care Act and the Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace with a highly-trained team of Certified Application Counselors.
Find more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace call the Freeman Marketplace team toll free at 855.255.PLAN (7526) or 417.347.8888 or visit covermissouri.org.
Don’t forget, open enrollment ends February 15, 2015!