Nebraskans have until January 31st to select their health insurance plan through the government’s Marketplace under the Affordable Health Care Act. Tom Gilsdorf is the director of product development for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and says those who purchased health insurance on the marketplace last year are encouraged to go back and review their choice.
Gilsdorf says, “If you do have coverage it is important you review your plan annually for any changes that could have occurred. Changes in your health status, your family status, all of those things could affect the type of plan you want for the next year. We also encourage people to go through the process and talk to a trusted advisor, an insurance agent, somebody that does this for a living to help guide you through the process.
You will want to look at price but also what type of benefits it covers.”
Gilsdorf also reminds Nebraskans the tax penalty for not having health insurance will double in 2016. If you don’t get coverage, the penalty equals the greater of 2.5% of your income, or $694 per adult, $374.50 per child with a cap of $2,699 per family. He says the vast majority of those who purchased insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield were eligible for tax credits to help offset the cost of the premium.
Statistics show that during the last enrollment period, the average price of a Marketplace plan in Nebraska was $104 a month after tax credits. Nearly 60% purchased a plan that cost less than $100 and 34% bought plans for less than $50 a month.
Assistance is available by logging on to enrollnebraska.org/local or by calling the United Way of the Midlands’ free 2-1-1 service.