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Press Release: Free, Personalized Assistance Available for Upcoming Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period

Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 2:00 pm By: WVPCA

Contact:
Louise Reese, CEO
West Virginia Primary Care Association
1700 MacCorkle Avenue, SE
Charleston, WV 25314
www.wvpca.org | 304.346.0032

For Immediate Release:

Free, Personalized Assistance Available for Upcoming Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period

Amidst recent changes, West Virginians will continue to have the opportunity to enroll or re-enroll for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace starting November 1, 2017. State residents who have questions regarding the updated health insurance options, eligibility and enrollment can take advantage of free, personalized assistance at various locations statewide. 

The West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA), along with assisters from Community Health Centers and navigators are available to answer questions and guide consumers through the process. To find local assistance, consumers are encouraged to go to WVPCA.org to be connected to experts in their area.

Open Enrollment 5 (OE5) officially begins November 1, 2017 and runs through December 15, 2017. To ensure coverage by January 1, 2018, premium payments must be made by December 15, 2017. Special Enrollment is available year-round for individuals who experience a life changing event – including marriage, divorce, and birth of a child, change of employer or other life-altering events.

“With the recent decision to end Cost-Sharing Reduction payments (a portion of the Affordable Care Act), there has been increasing uncertainty regarding the impact to West Virginia families,” noted Ruby Piscopo, Special Programs Coordinator at the West Virginia Primary Care Association. “Eligibility for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions to lower out-of-pocket costs to consumers has not changed and insurers are still required to offer savings to eligible consumers.”

The Health Insurance Marketplace offers the option of monthly subsidies to assist with paying for insurance plans.  However, these subsidies are still only available when enrolling or renewing through Healthcare.gov.

Consumers should be cautious about where they shop for insurance.  Shopping for insurance on other websites can result in calls from telemarketers and may not provide the consumer with insurance plans that meet the updated federal guidelines or qualify for subsidies. The official enrollment site is Healthcare.gov. The minimum tax penalty for a lack of health insurance is $695.

To make the most of a personalized meeting with either an assister or navigator, it is suggested to bring accurate income information in the form of paystubs or last year’s tax information, as well as Social Security information for all eligible family members. Assisters and navigators do not charge for this assistance. To find free assistance in your area or for additional information, contact the WVPCA at 304-346-0032 or online at WVPCA.org.

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West Virginia Community Health Centers provide primary care, behavioral health, oral health, vision, pharmacy, and school-based health services to approximately 438,000 West Virginians, nearly 1 in 4 of the state’s residents. 

 

 

 
 
 


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