Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Health Inurance Open Enrollement Ends This Month

Recent changes to federal health care laws have put individual and business owners in greater control of their own health care.  However, open enrollment on the Federal health Insurance Exchanges ends on March 31, 2014.  The next open enrollment period will not start until late fall.

Last October, government opened the insurance marketplace, or exchange, to help individual and small employers located, compare, and purchase affordable health care plans.  Each plan offered through the marketplace is sold and managed by private insurance companies.  In addition, every plan offers 10 Essential health Benefits to cover doctor visits, emergency room visits, hospital stays, laboratory services, preventative and wellness services and prescription drugs among others.  In addition, these plans are designed to be affordable.  The government offers tax credits and lower out of pocket cost for patients with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.  Many in the Valley qualify for this assistance.

Butte County has tow excellent resources to assist the pubic in navigating the federal insurance marketplace.  Lost River Medical Center can assist individual with the application process as well as answer general questions about the federal insurance program itself.  In addition, the agents at Valley Insurance Center (208-527-3494) in Arco can assist individual with the application process and answer specific questions about each of the individual and group health care plans available be on the exchange.  These service are free of charge to the public regardless of whether an individual purchases a health plan or not.

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