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Health Insurance Deadline Looms, but Some Hoosiers Have Other Options

March 24, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS - Uninsured Hoosiers have less than one week to meet an important health insurance deadline. The Affordable Care Act open enrollment period to apply for coverage for this year through the Health Insurance Marketplace ends March 31.

According to the executive director of Covering Kids and Families of Indiana, David Roos, while there is a deadline under the Act, some families have other options.

"Out of the 800,000 individuals in Indiana who are eligible, it's basically a 50/50 split. A little bit over 50 percent perhaps are eligible for coverage under the exchange, but almost 50 percent are eligible under existing Medicaid," he said.

Those who are eligible can apply for Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and the Healthy Indiana program year round. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 64,000 Indiana residents have already selected a marketplace plan.

Roos said there have been successful outreach efforts to help Indiana residents get enrolled, and navigators are available in all 92 counties to help people find the best option.

"We're encouraged here in Indiana; we've got a very strong coalition of partners, hospitals, federally-qualified health centers, Community Health Centers, social service agencies who are lending their expertise to help people navigate the new system."

Those who do not sign up for coverage may face a small penalty. But Roos pointed out that there are tax credits available and low-cost plans, depending on income. To enroll or get additional information Hoosiers can go online to Healthcare.gov.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN