Less than a week left for North Carolinians to enroll in Affordable Care Act
Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Jan. 31 is the final deadline for North Carolinians to enroll in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace during the third Affordable Care Act open-enrollment period. With just a few days left, the clock is ticking and North Carolinians should act now to make sure they have time to shop around, consider their options, and enroll in the plan that best fits their needs and budget.
The North Carolina Navigator Consortium and Enroll America are urging North Carolinians to check out Affordable Care plans, which cover what they need and meet their budgets so they can have peace of mind knowing that in an event of medical emergencies they would be covered.
“The Affordable Care Act insurance continues to help many North Carolinians,” said Jennifer Simmons, North Carolina Navigator Consortium Director. “We have talked to consumers who have undergone life-saving surgeries using their coverage. The marketplace plans are affordable and meet consumers’ budgets. We encourage uninsured North Carolinians to check out their options before the January 31 deadline so they can get covered.”
“So far, more than 569,000 North Carolinians have signed up for coverage during this open enrollment period – but there are still many who stand to benefit and need to take action before Jan. 31,” said Get Covered America North Carolina State director Sorien Schmidt. “Last year, we saw an unprecedented surge of interest leading up to the final deadline, and we expect to see the same this year as we approach the end of the month. That’s why we are encouraging people to start the process now to make sure there’s plenty of time from them to find the best plan for their family.”
To help North Carolinians learn about their options, there is free, in-person enrollment help available in communities across the state. Consumers can sit down face-to-face with unbiased local experts who can answer questions and help them make the best coverage decision for them and their families. They can also help people change plans if they are already insured through the Affordable Care Act and want to explore the new options available to them this year. North Carolinians can find someone near them by calling 1-855-733-3711 or using the Get Covered Connector tool at getcoveredamerica.org/connector.
During this open enrollment period, there are new plans and new prices available on the Health Insurance Marketplace, so North Carolinians should shop the options available to them. All Marketplace health plans are required to cover the basics – from preventive care, emergency services, prescriptions, and more. And quality protection comes at an affordable price for most North Carolinians, thanks to the financial assistance available to lower the cost of plans. In fact nearly 9 in 10 of the North Carolinians who have signed up so far are receiving financial help.
Those who don’t have health insurance in 2016 may face a fine of $695 or 2.5 percent of their income, whichever is greater. And that’s on top of having to pay out of pocket for routine medical care and unexpected emergencies. North Carolinians shouldn’t delay and risk paying the fine and high medical bills when they can have quality, affordable health insurance that will cover the essentials and protect them from the unexpected.
-Submitted by Sean Driscoll