HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Wolf and Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller today continued the Wolf Administration's consumer outreach and education efforts with the release of a video that offers consumers tips on how to use their health insurance.
"Since I took office, my administration has been dedicated to educating and empowering consumers so that they feel ready to make the best decisions for themselves and their family," said Governor Wolf. "Selecting a health insurance plan is one of the most important decisions you make each year, but it is also important that you know how to use it properly once you have it."
"How to Use Your Health Insurance" is the second in a series of videos produced by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department designed to help consumers gain a better understanding of health insurance. The department released their first video, "How to Shop for Health Insurance," as well as a printable shopper's guide in October.
"Open enrollment will likely be the only time consumers are able to select a health insurance plan each year, and for some consumers, this could be the first time that they're purchasing health insurance coverage," said Commissioner Miller. "I want them to have the tools to shop responsibly and make good use of the plan that they select."
Governor Wolf and Commissioner Miller also reminded consumers that although open enrollment runs through the end of January, consumers must select a plan by December 15 in order to obtain coverage that takes effect on January 1, 2016.
While insurance protects consumers from large medical bills and provides peace of mind, it is also the law that Americans now have health insurance, or they may face a tax penalty.
"In 2016, these penalties will go up to $695 or 2.5 percent of your income, whichever is greater, so it is very important that you select a plan to protect your physical and financial well-being," said Commissioner Miller.
Consumers who need to purchase health insurance coverage for 2016 can visit www.HealthCare.gov to access the federal marketplace and view options for coverage in their area. Commissioner Miller encouraged consumers to explore all options even if there are no major changes to their current plans.
"It is critical that you take advantage of this time to consider all options and make sure you have a plan that best suits your medical needs and your financial situation," said Commissioner Miller. "Remember, in order to obtain subsidies that can off-set costs from your monthly premiums and, in some cases, out-of-pocket costs, you must purchase a plan through the federal marketplace."
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has a variety of resources available to help consumers understand the shopping process. Visit www.insurance.pa.gov/Coverage/Pages/Health.aspx for more information on health insurance coverage. If you need assistance shopping, you can find a list of registered marketplace navigators and insurance agents at http://www.insurance.pa.gov/Consumers/FindInsProfessional/Pages/default.aspx.
If you have questions on health insurance or the shopping process, you may contact the department's Consumer Services Bureau at 1-877-881-6388 or online at www.insurance.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ron Ruman, 717-787-3289
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance