ST. LOUIS, Oct. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace launches November 1 for the third enrollment period, providing Missourians with access to quality, affordable health coverage. This year, new tools were developed to make it easier for customers to understand their health insurance options, make an appointment with a local assister, and learn about cost-sharing reductions and tax credits to lower their health insurance costs.
"With the opening of the third Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment period, it's more important than ever for consumers to explore their options and avoid paying a penalty," said Nancy Kelley, Expanding Coverage Program Director, Missouri Foundation for Health. "Our focus is to make sure Missourians know that help and information about insurance is available to them at the local level. Health insurance can be a confusing topic, but with the right in-person help and resources, it does not have to be."
To assist Missourians interested in signing up for health insurance, the Cover Missouri Coalition added several tools to its covermissouri.org website, including an insurance cost calculator whereby individuals and families can quickly compare all health insurance plans, a "find local help" tool and a dedicated toll-free call center (800-466-3213) where consumers can talk to an expert and make an appointment with a local assister.
This year marks an important milestone in providing uninsured Missourians with access to coverage, as the penalties for not having health insurance increase significantly in 2016. If consumers choose not to enroll in 2016 health coverage, they'll pay one of two amounts, whichever is greater:
- 2.5 percent of the individual's yearly household income
- Or $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18)
The enrollment period will remain open until Jan. 31, 2016. Consumers who enroll before Dec. 15 will receive coverage beginning Jan. 1. Across the state, Certified Application Counselors and Navigators are trained to help consumers find their best plan in terms of coverage and affordability, and to make sure consumers are aware of their options – and the penalties associated with choosing not to enroll.
The Cover Missouri Coalition, convened in 2013, now consists of more than 850 member organizations ranging from health care providers, community-based organizations, businesses and national organizations.
ABOUT COVER MISSOURI COALITION
Cover Missouri is a project of the Missouri Foundation for Health to promote quality, affordable health coverage for every Missourian. The Cover Missouri Coalition aims to reduce the rate of uninsured Missourians to less than five percent in five years. Members work to build awareness, facilitate enrollment, increase health insurance literacy, and support Medicaid transformation. Coalition members also share learning and best practices, maximize resources, identify challenges and opportunities, and build an inclusive plan to insure Missourians. For more information on the Marketplace, please visit covermissouri.org.
ABOUT MISSOURI FOUNDATION FOR HEALTH
Missouri Foundation for Health is a resource for the region, working with communities and nonprofits to generate and accelerate positive changes in health. As a catalyst for change, the Foundation improves the health of Missourians through a combination of partnership, experience, knowledge and funding.
For more information about Missouri Foundation for Health, please visit www.mffh.org.
SOURCE Cover Missouri