On Friday, February 20th Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a special enrollment period for individuals and families who were not able to obtain health coverage in 2014 and are subject to the fee or “shared responsibility payment” when they file their 2014. This special enrollment period will allow individuals and families who were unaware or didn’t understand the implications of this new requirement to enroll in 2015 health insurance coverage through the FFM.
Even with the millions of dollars of anti-healthcare propaganda efforts mounted by corporate and political opponents of the Affordable Healthcare Act, many in North Carolina did not understand that in lieu of signing onto a plan with a health-care exchange there would be a penalty come tax day. Those who indicate that they did not know about the penalty will be given from March 15th to April 30th to sign up through a FFM.
In an attempt to score partisan political points, Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina legislature have labored to make it as difficult as possible for North Carolinians to get health coverage, but by using the FFM the entire process has become vastly simplified. “It has been easier because the web site has been working very well. The number of screens has been reduced and made more efficient. That, along with the one on one advice available here in North Carolina has made it more simple than ever to get covered.” Said Lee Dixon, the project director for NCGetCovered. Over 92% of those who have signed up in NC have qualified for Federal subsidies.
NCGetCovered is one of several non-partisan, non-profits who have been working across America in states where partisan politics have over-powered concern for the well-being of citizens. NCGetCovered is not the only organization operating in North Carolina, but has brought to bear resources (including funding from Winston-Salem’s Katherine B. Reynolds Trust) in order to help North Carolinians acquire proper health coverage. North Carolina has already had one of the most successful roll-outs in the United States with over 1/3 of those eligible now covered.
If you are not insured and have not signed up you can begin that process HERE on March 15th.
Some important contacts include:
Schedule an In-person Appointment: 1-855-733-3711
Federal Marketplace: 1-800-318-2596
Complete an application over the phone
Report life changes (income, household members, etc)
Blue Cross Blue Shield: 1-800-446-8053
United Health Care: 1-800-842-8000