HHS shows that thousands of consumers have managed to find coverage through federal insurance exchange
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reported that some 50,000 Kansas residents have signed up for health insurance coverage through the state’s exchange as of December 12. The state’s exchange is managed by the federal government, as are most exchanges operating in the United States. Consumers can access the exchange through HealthCare.gov, which was recently revamped to provide better service to consumers that need to purchase insurance coverage.
Open enrollment is set to end in January 2016, consumers still have time to acquire coverage
This open enrollment period has been relatively successful, with consumers showing eagerness to renew the policies they purchased through exchanges last year. The current enrollment period will come to an end on January 31, 2016, and consumers without insurance coverage will face a penalty from the federal government. While consumers may have purchased insurance coverage through exchanges, their coverage may not become active on January 1 next year, which may leave them exposed to the federal penalty as well.
Federal penalty will become more expensive for those without health insurance coverage
The federal penalty will be more expensive next year. Uninsured consumers will have to pay a fine equal to 2.5% of their annual household income or $696 per uninsured adult, whichever is higher. The maximum penalty a family will face, however, is set at $20,600. Some consumers may qualify for hardship exemptions. For those whose insurance costs exceed 8.13% of their household income, penalties will not apply.
Insurance exchanges continue to ensure that consumers have insurance coverage
Health insurance exchanges have proven to be quite successful over the past few years. These exchanges have made it possible for millions of consumers throughout the country to acquire the coverage that they need. With the huge influx of consumers, however, insurers have been facing higher claims payouts. For some, this has translated into financial losses. In order to recover from these losses, insurers have been raising premiums. This means that coverage for 2016 is expected to be somewhat more expensive.