Ron Bliss guest col: Not too late for medical insurance coverage for 2016

If you haven’t renewed your healthcare coverage for 2016, it’s not too late. But if you want that coverage to either continue on Jan. 1 or begin on that date, you only have two days left.

The deadline to renew or purchase new coverage is Tuesday of this week (Dec. 15). If you had a plan that is not being offered in 2016, you have to do something in the next two days or go without coverage in January. Those with Nevada Health Co-Op or Assurant would be in that category.

If you had an existing plan with one of the other carriers, however, you will be automatically “rolled over” into the same plan or a “mapped” plan by your insurance company, but usually at a higher rate. But even then, you are not “stuck” in that plan. Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act continues through Jan. 31 and though you only have until the 15th of this month to change plans for January, you can still get coverage for 2016 through Jan. 31, 2016.

The way it works is this: If you sign up by Dec. 15, your coverage will begin on Jan. 1. If you sign up between Dec. 16 and Jan. 15, your coverage will begin on Feb. 1, 2016. And if you sign up between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31, your coverage will begin on March 1, 2016.

Jan. 31, then, is the deadline that “must” be met to avoid a fine for failing to have creditable coverage for 2016. The White House has announced that that will be a “firm” deadline this year. No more extensions like there were the last two years because individuals did not realize the penalty for failing to have an accepted ACA plan.

If you have coverage for nine months of 2016, you will not incur a penalty for 2016, which is $695 per adult, $347.50 per child or 2 1-2 percent of your gross income, whichever is more.

If you haven’t signed up yet and need to, Affordable Healthcare Pros is here to help. You can come by our office at 2307 N. Carson Street in Carson City from 9 a.m., to 6 p.m., weekdays to request help or you can call us at 775-883-3414 (office number).

You can also call us at 775-450-6769; 775-450-6867, 775-450-7754, 775-224-7169 or on one of our two Las Vegas lines — 702- 721-3657 or 702-721-3810.

There is no charge for our services. We offer a wide variety of health insurance coverage and can take care of your healthcare needs – both on and off exchanges in both Nevada and California.

Ron Bliss is a former long-time sports writer who has been doing health insurance since 2009. He is certified on both Covered California and the Nevada Health Link and can sell products on and off both exchanges. Affordable Healthcare Pros also offers a variety of dental plans to include dental-vision-hearing plans in both states, as well as a wide variety of Medicare supplements and other health supplemental products to include critical illness, short-term care, disability, plans to cover in-home or nursing home costs, accidents and hospital indemnity policies.


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