Press release from NC Get Covered:
Raleigh, N.C. – February 9, 2015 – North Carolinians must enroll in a health insurance plan through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace by Feb. 15 in order to receive health care coverage this year or face a fine. NC Get Covered, a non-partisan initiative powered by The Big Tent Coalition, is providing access to information and support to help residents meet the deadline and avoid facing a fine for not having health coverage.
“For many enrolling in a health insurance plan for the first time, the process may seem difficult or overwhelming,” said Lee Dixon, project director for NC Get Covered. “However, it is imperative for North Carolinians to know that there is free assistance in their community to walk them through the enrollment process and NC Get Covered is committed to helping North Carolinians find the right health coverage for their needs and budget.”
Local help available
Through NC Get Covered, people have access to in-person assisters and resources to help them navigate the open enrollment process. NC Get Covered offers statewide enrollment assistance, including outreach events and educational ACA resources for financial help, health insurance basics, and ACA deadlines and fines. For more information on enrollment events happening across the state, please visit www.NCGetCovered.org/local-help/events. Consumers can also schedule free appointments any day in their county on the NC Get Covered website or by calling 1-855-733-3711.
If North Carolinians miss the enrollment deadline, each adult without health insurance may have to pay $325 or two percent of their annual household income next year, whichever is greater. The U.S. government recently estimated that up to six million households may have to pay a fine for not having health coverage in 2014.
“Uninsured North Carolinians should learn about their coverage options, find out how much financial help they qualify for, and get covered before the February 15 deadline,” said Sorien Schmidt, Get Covered America’s North Carolina state director. “Ninety-two percent of the nearly 480,000 North Carolinians who have enrolled for coverage are getting financial help to pay for their monthly premiums.”
In addition to a fine, North Carolinians without insurance coverage can expect to pay more out of pocket for simple treatments, such as a broken arm, which can cost between $2,500 and $3,000 without health insurance. Health insurance also gives people access to preventive health care, including annual checkups and diagnostic tests, which are especially important for cancer screenings, diabetes and heart conditions.
About NC Get Covered
NC Get Covered is a non-partisan initiative, powered by The Big Tent Coalition, committed to improving health outcomes in North Carolina through outreach, education and enrollment in the health insurance marketplace. The Big Tent Coalition is made of up nearly 100 organizations, including community-based organizations, hospitals, insurance carriers, in-person assisters and non-profit organizations, and more than 480 people throughout North Carolina. With grants from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, The Big Tent Coalition has developed a formal infrastructure to further enhance North Carolina’s efforts to meet the challenges and take advantage of opportunities in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. For more information, visit www.NCGetCovered.org.