Healthy Community Challenge Encourages Health Insurance enrollment

December 15th is the last day to choose a health insurance plan in ordered to be covered by January 1st, 2016.

The Community Health Care Center is offering appointments to help navigate enrollment. To make an appointment call 268-9721.

If you are unable to make an appointment, you can also attend the open enrollment event at Indian Family Health Services Tuesday Dec. 15th from 9am-4pm.

If you miss the December 15th deadline, you still have until January 31st for get coverage, however your coverage won’t begin until February. For questions about coverage or more information visit covermt.org.

There have been some reports of intermittent availability on healthcare.gov. If this occurs, enrollers are asked to call the marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 to “get in line” by leaving their call back information so they can still be eligible for coverage on January 1st, 2016. This is not an extension of the deadline,  but an effort to provide customer support.

To further encourage uninsured residents to sign up for coverage, Great Falls is one of 20 communities to join in the White House’s “Healthy Community Challenge.” The victorious community gets a visit from President Obama to celebrate their success.

Statistics about the Great Falls Health Insurance Marketplace for 2016:

Health insurance coverage is affordable.

On June 30, 2015, 48,591 people in Montana were covered through its Health Insurance Exchange, or Marketplace.

  • In Montana, 79 percent of people can find a plan for $100 or less, 71 percent for $75 or less, and 64 percent for $50 or less for 2016.
  • For the second-lowest silver plan, in Montana, a family of four with a household income of $60,000 is eligible for $551 in tax credits per month on average statewide, and a 27-year old with a household income of $25,000 is eligible for $121 in tax credits per month in 2016.
  • Tax credits matter. In 2015, 83 percent of Marketplace enrollees – 40,231 people – in Montana received a tax credit, and consumers saved an average of $230 per month.

Consumers have a choice.

  • In Montana, 3 issuers are offering individual health plans in the Marketplace in 2016.
  • Issuers are offering an average of 30 plans per county in Montana in 2016.

It pays to shop.

  • In Montana, 78 percent of Marketplace consumers who switch to the lowest-cost plan within a coverage level could save on average $20 per month, or $234 per year, on their premium costs in 2016.
  • About 27 percent of 2014 enrollees in Montana switched to a new plan in 2015, saving $331 per year – and $1,582,285 in total statewide – on premium costs.

While progress has been made, more work is needed to cover the uninsured.

  • In Montana, the adult uninsured rate dropped from 20.7 percent in 2013 to 14.4 percent in the first half of 2015.
  • In Great Falls and the surrounding region, there are 13,000 uninsured who are eligible for the Marketplace. (The number of the uninsured is for the Designated Market Area that includes Great Falls.)

*Source: Press release from the White House Nov. 6th, 2015