By March 16, 2016 Read More →

Another 12,000 WV residents get health insurance

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by The Associated Press The HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in October 2015.

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by The Associated Press
The HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in October 2015.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than 12,000 West Virginians enrolled in individual health coverage for the first time this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.

Nationally, nearly 5 million people gained new coverage during the Affordable Care Act’s third open enrollment period, which ended on Jan. 31, and a total of 12.7 million signed up or were re-enrolled in coverage, according to HHS.

Terri Giles, executive director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, said more than 37,000 West Virginians enrolled or re-enrolled in coverage during the 2016 open enrollment period, the first year that West Virginians were offered plans by more than one carrier in several counties.

CareSource, an Ohio-based health maintenance company, joined the West Virginia market this year in Brooke, Cabell, Hancock, Kanawha, Lincoln, Marshall, Mason, Ohio, Putnam and Wayne counties.

“The ACA has been effective in West Virginia and good for West Virginians,” she said. “We only have two carriers in West Virginia, and I think that has made the difference. [CareSource] is going to extend further across the state competition is good for cost containment.”

This year, the tax penalty for forgoing health insurance is 2.5 percent of a person’s income or $695 per adult, whichever is higher…

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