(Wyoming) - With just a few weeks left to select a comprehensive and affordable health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace
, now is the time to shop and compare. Come
January 31, the Marketplace will close for the year.
For those who have not previously had health insurance coverage, the
question “why?” tends to pop up. Here are five reasons why now is the time
to find the plan that best fits you and your family’s needs:
1. *Preventive Healthcare *– Health insurance covers a significant
portion, and sometimes all, of the cost of preventive healthcare services
such as health screenings, vaccinations and wellness exams. These types of
preventive services are great ways to maintain good health, keep existing
medical conditions from worsening, and spot health conditions before they
become problematic. Without insurance, these services can be expensive and
are often bypassed by uninsured.
2. *Unforeseen Medical Needs *– Your health can change in an instant.
It is important to be prepared and able to handle any situation that comes
your way. Without insurance coverage, the cost of unforeseen medical bills
could have a lasting impact on your family.
3. *Prescription Costs *– Many health insurance plans also offer
prescription benefits. If you or someone in your family is on regular
medication, search for a plan that includes prescription coverage.
4. *Tax Credits and Federal Subsidies* – Individuals with dependents
(typically children under the age of 18) covered on their insurance plans
may qualify for tax credits each year. When you visit the Marketplace, the
easy-to-use, online tool will inform you of
any tax credits for which you are eligible. In some cases the tax credits
are provided in advance of premium payments and assist with the monthly
out-of-pocket expenses. Furthermore, many individuals will qualify for
federal subsidies to assist with the cost of premiums. In 2015, roughly
84% of individuals insured through Marketplace plans received federal
5. *Federal Penalties *– Individuals who do not have health coverage in
2016 will face steeper fines, the higher of: (1) $695 per adult and $347.50
per child, up to $2,085, or (2) 2.5% of annual income, up to the annual
cost of an average bronze plan.
*Feature photo: Shutterstock / Pitchengine Communities*
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