January 31st Deadline Approaching

Montana health insurance for tribal members - open enrollment

The deadline to sign up for Marketplace health insurance for 2016 is quickly approaching on January 31st. This deadline also marks your last chance to switch to a different Marketplace plan. If you miss the January 31st deadline you will not be able to enroll in a health insurance plan through the Federal Marketplace in 2016 unless you have a life changing event that qualifies you for a special enrollment period.  If you are eligible for the new Montana HELP Plan or Medicaid expansion, you can sign up now and at any point throughout the year.

Those who are not insured by the Jan 31st deadline may also be fined on their tax return for not having 2016 health insurance coverage.

It pays to be covered

  • The fine for not having health insurance in 2016 has increased to an annual fine of $695 per adult, $347.50 per child, or 2.5% of household income, whichever is higher. In addition to the penalty, all treatments, emergency care, and medication you might need are out of pocket.
  • You owe the fine for any month you, your spouse, or your tax dependents don’t have health insurance that qualifies as minimum essential coverage.
  • You pay the penalty when you file your federal tax return for the year you don’t have coverage.
  • You can learn more about the fine here.

If you are new to health insurance and the Health Insurance Marketplace, it’s time to enroll:

  • Check out Cover Montana’s Health Insurance Basics and the Health Insurance Application Checklist age. It gives you an overview of how and where to shop for coverage, reviews some basic insurance terms, and provides information about things like tax credits to help you afford your monthly insurance premiums.
  • If you would prefer to sit down with someone who can answer your health insurance questions and walk you through the process, it’s not a problem! There are more than 100 enrollment assisters across Montana who are ready to help! Find one here by entering your zip code.

If you’ve already used the Marketplace to find coverage, don’t forget to update your Marketplace account!

  • The only way to ensure you are eligible for the best coverage with the correct tax credits is to update your Marketplace account. When you update your account, you’ll get instant eligibility results that will let you know whether you are eligible for Montana Medicaid, the HELP Plan, a Marketplace plan, and if you kids are eligible for Healthy Montana Kids. The Healthcare.gov application will screen you for all of these different kinds of coverage. Once you submit your application and receive your eligibility results you’ll find out what you qualify for and will be able to shop for 2016 Montana health insurance plans.
  • Even if you already have a plan, you may still have questions. Just like newcomers to the Marketplace, you can speak with an enrollment assister to learn about whether you are getting the most out of your plan. Find one here and get help today.

Have questions? Help is just around the corner!

If you have any questions about your health insurance options, the upcoming January 31st deadline, or need someone to walk you through the application and enrollment process,  free and confidential help is available through your local enrollment assister. Find an enrollment assister in your area here. You can set up an appointment with an enrollment assister or you can also check out an enrollment event in your area.