POTTSTOWN PA – Consumers who have not yet signed up for health insurance choices through the federal 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 (2016; Saturday) to obtain coverage by Feb. 1; and for coverage to become effective March 1, the plan and premium must be finalized by Jan. 31. Pottstown Memorial Medical Center continues to offer free application assistance to help individuals evaluate insurance options on the marketplace and complete their application forms.
The hospital’s certified assistants encourage those who need help to reserve appointments early, as schedules typically book quickly this month. Call 610-327-7014 to make an appointment.
Higher penalties in 2016 for being without insurance are driving many newcomers to the marketplace. Fines can amount to $695 per adult, $348 per child, and up to $2,085 per family or 2.5-percent of family income, whichever is higher. Fines are assessed when 2016 federal tax returns are filed.
The great majority of consumers purchasing plans on the marketplace qualify for financial assistance that reduces the cost of their premium, 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 pre-existing health conditions. Some health benefits include free preventive care and wellness services, doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospital and emergency department care, lab services and pediatric services.
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