Federal agency teams with retail groups to promote insurance coverage among holiday shoppers
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that it has formed partnerships with several organizations to promote health insurance during the holiday shopping season. The federal agency has partnered with Westfield Shopping Centers, The National Community Pharmacists Association, and XO Group. Through these partnerships, the agency will be encouraging consumers to purchase health insurance coverage during Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, three of the most prominent shopping days in the United States.
Agency is encouraging consumers to take advantage of the open enrollment period, which ends February 15, 2015
The agency will be aggressively promoting insurance exchanges in many parts of the country. These exchanges began their open enrollment period earlier in November, and this enrollment period will end on February 15, 2015. Those that purchase insurance coverage before December 15 of this year will have their policies go into effect on January 1, 2015. Purchasing coverage beyond that date will mean that coverage will be enacted later on in January.
HHS draws attention to financial aid available to low-income consumers
The majority of consumers looking to enroll in their state’s exchange will have to do so through HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange gateway. The HHS will be promoting the financial aid opportunities that some consumers may be eligible to receive. Per the Affordable Care Act, low-income consumers may receive subsidies from the federal government that offset the overall cost of health insurance coverage. Those that are not eligible for financial aid may be able to enroll in their state’s Medicaid program.
Changes have been made to insurance exchanges to make them more capable than they were last year
Last year, health insurance exchanges throughout the United States struggled to enroll consumers due to technical problems. Many states have been taking steps to ensure that this will not be a continuing problem, equipping their exchanges with new technology and overhauling their websites. The federal government has also been taking steps to improve HealthCare.gov in order to avoid the problems it experienced with the exchange gateway in the past.