November 17, 2015
Serving Midtown, Spenard, and UMed
716 W. 4th Ave Suite 411.
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Governor Bill Walker
Lt. Governor Byron Mallot
Get Covered, Alaska!
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In case you are not already aware, enrollment for our newly expanded Medicaid is open now through January 31, 2016.
There are many reasons to have health coverage:
1. Coverage is security. Health coverage can help protect you from unexpected costs if you get seriously hurt or sick. Having coverage means you don't pay all costs yourself.
2. All plans in the Marketplace cover essential health benefits, preventive services (including contraceptive services) and more. Some insurers may even cover some types of doctor's visits before you pay anything out of your own pocket.
3. Plans in the Marketplace may be more affordable than you think. When you apply, you'll find out if you qualify for lower costs based on your household income or if you qualify for Medicaid. In 2015, many people were able to select a plan with a premium of less than $100 a month.
Important dates to consider:
When you fill out the Marketplace application, they will tell you if you qualify for:
Please note that if you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you must have a health coverage exemption or pay a fee. If you didn't have coverage in 2015, you'll have to pay a fee on your federal tax return of $325 per adult and $162.50 per child under 18, or 2% of your income (whichever is higher). In 2016, the fee is $695 per person and $347.50 per child under 18, or 2.5% of your income (whichever is higher). In future years, the fee will be adjusted for inflation.
You're considered covered if you have Medicare Part A or Part C, Medicaid, CHIP, any job-based plan, an individual health plan, COBRA, retiree coverage, TRICARE, VA health coverage, or some other kinds of health coverage.
If you're eligible for job-based insurance, you can consider switching to a Marketplace plan. But you won't qualify for lower costs based on your income unless the job-based insurance is unaffordable or doesn't meet minimum requirements. You also may lose any contribution your employer makes to your premiums.
If you have a qualifying life event (like moving to a new state, getting married, having a child, or losing health coverage), you can get a Special Enrollment Period. This means you can enroll in or change your plan outside Open Enrollment. You can apply for Medicaid and CHIP any time.
Already have coverage? It might be time to review your plan and decide if you need to make changes for 2016. Also, be sure to carefully read and review the letter your health plan sends you in the mail to see what changes they're making to your coverage for the coming year.
I’m Berta and I’m still listening,
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office.