Monday the Deadline to Buy Health Insurance
Posted on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
For Love Countians who don’t have health insurance, midnight Monday is the deadline to buy it.
Local enroller Melodie Schaffer says dozens of applicants have purchased coverage on Oklahoma’s federally-run health insurance marketplace in the past few weeks.
Enrollment help at two sites in Love County is free and does not add to the cost of insurance.
They are Big Five Community Services in Marietta, phone 276-3154, and Schaffer’s Pearman Insurance in Thackerville, phone 276-3672.
Consumers can enroll themselves at Oklahoma’s federally-run marketplace website, www.healthcare.gov. A “chat line” on the site offers real-time assistance.
Also, there is a 24-hour enrollment helpline, 1-800-318-2596.
Healthcare.gov shows a total of 37 plans. They are offered through three Oklahoma companies: Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Global Health, and Coventry Health and Life.
Schaffer said the most popular consumer choice has been Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oklahoma. The “Choice” option at the bronze, silver, or gold level is honored by more physicians and other medical providers than is an “HMO” type plan, she said.
The majority of Love County households qualify, based on income and household size, for a subsidy. The subsidy lowers their share of costs on a marketplace plan.
After March 31, enrollment for 2014 ceases and the person still uninsured would be liable for a penalty when they file their tax return for 2014.
The uninsured person’s next opportunity to enroll would be in the fall of 2014 for coverage that would begin in 2015.
Health Insurance Enrollment Summary
Enrollment by March 31
- Big 5 Community Services, Marietta, 276-3154
- Pearman Insurance, Thackerville, 276-3672
- Online at www.healthcare.gov, Oklahoma’s federally-run marketplace
- Over the phone: 1-800-318-2596, the marketplace call center
Residents between 100% of the federal poverty level ($11,490 for 2013, or $23,550 for a family of four) and 400% ($45,960, or $94,200 for a family of four) who buy health insurance through Oklahoma’s federally run exchange will be eligible for reduced coverage based on annual income and family size. A subsidy calculator is available at http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/.
On 2014 tax returns, $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (up to $285 per family) or 1 percent of family income, whichever is greater.
In 2015: $325 per adult and $162.50 per child (up to $975 per family) or 2 percent of family income.
In 2016 and beyond: $695 per adult and $347.50 per child (up to $2,085 per family) or 2.5 percent of family income. There’s no penalty for a single gap in coverage of less than three months.
- Those who oppose health services/benefits based on deeply held religious beliefs
- Undocumented workers
- Tribal members
- Those whose annual incomes fall below the threshold for filing tax returns ($10,000 in 2013; $20,000 for a family).
- Those for whom buying insurance would cost more than 8 percent of their income.