Local Agencies Helping Enroll in 'Obamacare'
Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
Consumers are heading into the second year of the health care law. Open enrollment for 2015 coverage through the health insurance marketplace began Saturday and continues though February 15, 2015.
This is the period when uninsured adults under age 65 get enrolled or possibly face a tax penalty for not having sufficient health insurance. Consumers who were already covered by a marketplace plan this year can change plans during open enrollment.
For in-person assistance, several local agencies confirmed with the Love County Community Coalition that they have become licensed or certified to help applicants select a plan on the health insurance marketplace and apply for tax subsidies that can greatly reduce their premiums. There is no charge to consumers for their services.
Melodie Schaffer, Pearman Insurance, (580) 276-3672, at 11716 Ullman Road, Thackerville.
Emily Bush, State Farm Insurance, (580) 276-3388, at 700 W. Main, Marietta.
Big 5 Community Services, (580) 276-3154, at 910 W. Main, Marietta.
Online, the marketplace can be found at www.healthcare.gov. Applicants can self-enroll or call the national helpline for 24-hour assistance at 1-800-318-2596. Low-income applicants can find out if they qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid.
Marketplace plans cover essential health benefits (such as hospital, doctor, prescription drug, specialists, surgery, mental health care, rehabilitative care, medical devices), preexisting conditions, and preventive care.
For Love County postal codes, the marketplace is showing 34 different plans from two insurers: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and Global Health.
In 2014, 75% of the Oklahomans who enrolled through the marketplace selected a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma plan. The vast majority qualified for tax subsidies that reduced their premiums.
Some applicants will find that they make too much income to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for a tax subsidy for a marketplace plan. Those applicants may be eligible for the state’s health insurance plan, Insure Oklahoma. They can self-enroll at www.insureoklahoma.com or call the Oklahoma Health Care Authority at 1-888-365-3742.