Deadline Looms For Health Care Sign Ups To Avoid Fine
The deadline to enroll in health insurance without someday facing a fine is Tuesday night.
As the federal Affordable Care Act enters its third year, the penalties are stiffening for those who don't get insured. The federal government will fine those without health insurance — 2.5 percent of household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under 18. The fine will be whichever figure ends up being greater.
Kevin Counihan, CEO of the federal insurance exchange HealthCare.gov, says he thinks the high fines will induce people who didn't have insurance before to at least shop around before deciding to skip coverage again.
Counihan, who was director of marketing for the Massachusetts health exchange 10 years ago, says it was when the fines approached $1,000 that sign-ups jumped.
Kentuckians searching for health insurance through Kynect, the state's health insurance exchange, have until midnight to apply. Those who enroll by tonight's deadline will be insured beginning Jan. 1.
For people who miss the deadline, the fines would be applied to their taxes in 2017.
There are several options to choose from when applying. This year, the exchange will offer health insurance plans from seven insurers: Aetna, Anthem, Baptist Health, CareSource, Humana, United Healthcare and WellCare.
Here's a rundown of options:
Kynect Mobile App
The mobile app can be downloaded from Google Play Store and Apple Store. Kentuckians can fill out an application, check for discounts, look at plans or find in-person assistance. The app can also be used to submit documents, manage plans and update information.
Enter your contact information, identification number, household information, proof of income, expenses information, current health insurance information and employment information.
Eligibility for a qualified health plan, Medicaid, KCHIP and tax credits and subsidies will automatically appear.
During the state's first open enrollment period, insurance agents accounted for 44 percent of enrollments, and Kynectors — people employed by the state or agencies to assist Kentuckians with enrollment — accounted for 15 percent of enrollments.
People can also stop by the mall to sign up for insurance. Last year, a Kynect retail store opened in Lexington at Fayette Mall. Now, there is a Kynect retail store at St. Matthews Mall in Louisville.
Call customer service at 1-855-4kynect (6328).