MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Gravie, a company that provides a new way for individuals to shop, compare, buy and manage their health insurance – for free – today announced a partnership with community college systems in North Carolina and Indiana to help students find affordable health insurance.
North Carolina's largest community college, Wake Technical Community College, is partnering with Gravie to help its 60,000 students find the best individual health insurance plan for their needs, while also helping students over the age of 26 avoid penalties for not having insurance imposed by the Affordable Care Act. Through the partnership, students at all of Wake Technical Community College's 10 campuses can use Gravie's customized online platform and receive free help from the company's experts.
In Indiana, the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, Ivy Tech Community College, is partnering with Gravie to help its 15,000 students address this same challenge. Through the partnership with Gravie, students at the college's Lafayette/Kokomo, Fort Wayne and Bloomington campuses can use this new resource to help them shop for health insurance plans through the Gravie platform.
"College students are often in a situation where they need to buy their own health insurance, sometimes for the very first time," said Abir Sen, co-founder and CEO of Gravie. "We're excited for the opportunity for our customized online platform and trained advisors to not only help students find a health insurance plan to fit their needs and pocketbooks, but also help them manage their healthcare every step of the way."
The ACA requires every American to have health insurance. Since many community college students are 26 years old or older, they are no longer eligible to remain on their parents' health insurance plan. Moreover, the fine for those who do not have health insurance increases to $695 or 2.5 percent of taxable income (whichever is greater) in 2016, up from $325 or 2 percent of taxable income in 2015.
"Given the average age of our students is 29, most are required to buy health insurance," said John Murphy, president of the Ivy Tech Foundation and senior vice president of Ivy Tech Community College. "Gravie can help our students determine what they need, where to find it and how to pay for it, while avoiding costly penalties."
Gravie also can help community college students determine if they are eligible for government tax credits made available by the ACA. For example, a 26-year-old student who makes $25,000 a year would qualify for $133 per month in government tax credits to pay for a $163 per month ACA bronze plan, which covers 60 percent of healthcare costs. As a result, the student would pay a net of $30 per month or $360 per year to get health insurance – and avoid paying a $695 penalty for not having health insurance.
"Since we already help our students with financial aid, we felt it made sense to help them buy health insurance as well – and, in each case, help them determine if they are eligible for government tax credits," said O. Morton (Mort) Congleton, executive vice president, college development & foundation executive director at Wake Tech Foundation. "For many of our students, finding the right health insurance on their own is a daunting task, so we are pleased to help them through this partnership."
Once the students buy a plan through Gravie, they receive ongoing support services to help them find in-network doctors, understand what is and isn't covered in their plan and answer questions about confusing bills or claims.
On Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. ET, Gravie will host a webinar led by a Gravie advisor who will walk students through the Gravie shopping experience and answer frequently asked questions, including live questions received from students. Students can register for the webinar here.
Gravie helps consumers shop for, compare and buy their health insurance plan in both the private marketplace and through public exchanges. Gravie works directly with consumers as well as employers to find cost effective health insurance plans that fit the needs of the individual. Once consumers buy a plan through Gravie, they receive free ongoing support, which includes help finding in-network doctors and understanding what is and isn't covered in their plan, and access to experts who can answer questions about confusing bills and claims, among other services. Gravie is headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, visit www.gravie.com.