Consumers who have not yet signed up for health insurance through the government’s Health Insurance Marketplace still have time—but two important deadlines are fast approaching.
A plan must be selected and the premium paid by Jan. 15 to obtain coverage by Feb. 1; for coverage effective March 1, the plan and premium must be finalized by Jan. 31.
Weatherford Regional Medical Center (WRMC) continues to offer free application assistance to help individuals evaluate insurance options on the Marketplace and complete their application forms. However, WRMC’s certified assistors are encouraging those needing help to reserve appointments early, as schedules typically book quickly this month. Call 682-582-1820 to make an appointment.
Increased penalties for 2016 are driving many newcomers to the Marketplace, as most individuals must choose between purchasing insurance and paying a fine. Fines are $695 per adult, $347.50 per child, and up to $2,085 per family or 2.5 percent of family income—whichever is higher. The fines will be assessed when 2016 federal tax returns are filed.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), the great majority of consumers purchasing plans on the Marketplace are qualifying for financial assistance; this reduces their premium cost—which is the monthly fee charged for coverage. Most are expected to pay less than $75 per month.
All health plans on the Marketplace must offer a comprehensive set of benefits, and coverage cannot be denied for individuals with a pre-existing health condition. Some of the mandatory health benefits include free preventive care and wellness services, doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospital and emergency department care, lab services and pediatric services.
About Weatherford Regional Medical Center
Weatherford Regional Medical Center is a 103-all private bed hospital and network of medical clinics serving Parker County. A dedicated and experienced medical staff offer over 30 medical specialties and services ranging from comprehensive imaging, interventional cardiology, a 24- hour emergency department, labor and delivery suites, and much more. The hospital has received numerous awards and recognition, including the Press Ganey Summit Award and The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval. For more information, call 682-582-1000 or visit www.weatherfordregional.com
Health Insurance Marketplace
Nov. 1, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016
Free assistance with applying or re-enrolling is available; call: 682- 582-1820
Premium Paid/Coverage Begins
By Jan. 15th/Feb. 1, 2016
By Jan. 31st/March 1, 2016