(UNDATED) - If you have been thinking about buying health insurance on the Indiana online marketplace, the deadline is approaching.
Most Americans must have health insurance and pay their first month's premium by March 31 or pay a tax penalty of $95 or up to 1 percent of their annual income, whichever is greater. The tax gradually increases to $695 or 2.5 percent of annual income in 2016.
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. about 37,950 have paid their first premium payments.
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."
That's about 4.8 percent of the 791,947 uninsured Hoosiers estimated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Another 108,000 Hoosiers are seeing their insurance canceled during the last few months of 2013 and first few months of 2014 because their policies did not meet the standards of the ACA, according to the IndianaDepartment of Insurance.
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 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.
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