Enrollment period very limited this year
Release from WV NaviCare
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Affordable Care Act is still in place and open enrollment begins soon.
West Virginians who need to enroll, re-enroll or switch health insurance plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace should note that the annual open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace has been reduced to six weeks. It will will run from Nov. 1, 2017 through Dec. 15, 2017.
West Virginians who need help enrolling or have questions about health insurance can take advantage of the free help that WV NaviCare provides by calling the helpline at 1-844-WV-CARES (304-356-5834) to speak to a certified Health Insurance Navigator. Free, in-person enrollment assistance is also available.
WV NaviCare, a federally grant-funded project operated by First Choice Services, cautions people to pay close attention this year as they sign up for health insurance plans. The Health Insurance Marketplace offers monthly subsidies for people to help pay for their insurance plans. However, applicants must enroll through the Marketplace call center or online at Healthcare.gov to get those subsidies.
Jeremy Smith, program director for WV NaviCare, said many people go online and visit the wrong site and sign up for a non-qualifying plan.
“We’ve heard stories about people clicking the wrong button, or calling the wrong place, and getting hounded by telemarketers, and they don’t even end up with a qualifying plan. Then, they have to pay the tax penalty, which is $695 or 2.5% of annual income, whichever is greater.”
Smith urges anyone who needs assistance to reach out to his group for free help. He added, “We don’t work on commission. Our job is to make sure you get the best insurance at the lowest price possible.”
More information is available at: www.wvnavicare.com. That site includes resources for enrollment help, a calendar of enrollment events and an overview of facts and other information about health insurance, the Marketplace and the Affordable Care Act.