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ACA open enrollment period kicks off Tuesday

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CHARLESTON, W. Va. – The 10th annual open enrollment period for West Virginians seeking Obamacare coverage will launch on Tuesday, November 1.

“Anyone who can’t get health insurance through employment, Medicare, or Medicaid, the Market Place is a great place to be able to review health insurance options for you and your family,” said Jeremy. Smith, program director of West Virginia Navigator. .

Jeremy Smith

WV Navigator is a nonprofit program that provides free assistance to West Virginia residents choosing a health insurance plan.

“It really makes a huge difference for people who have questions because the whole process can be so confusing and there are a lot of scams out there as well,” Smith said.

Among this year’s changes is a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act to extend the enhanced subsidies for another three years.

“This means that all plans on the market will be more affordable for consumers if they get a subsidy. Last year, more than 9 out of 10 people in West Virginia were able to get a subsidy that helps them pay for the plan. health insurance they choose,” Smith said.

Smith said most people will be able to get a plan for $50 or less per month.

The federal government has also fixed what Smith calls “the family problem.”

“If your spouse’s job offers you a plan and it represents more than 9.12% of your family income, you can opt out of this offer from the employer and you can go to the Market Place and benefit from subsidized coverage there,” he explained.

Many West Virginians are currently insured due to the state’s expanded Medicaid program as part of the ongoing public health emergency.

“A lot of people are insured right now through Expanded Medicaid, which is great, but anyone who still doesn’t have health insurance, we really want to make sure they check out that program,” said Smith.

The agency noted that more than 23,000 West Virginians have purchased health insurance through HealthCare.gov, the federal government’s website offering insurance plans.

For free assistance, the WV Navigator program is available by calling 304-356-5834 or visiting ACANavigator.com.

Smith said WV Navigator is partnering with Mountain Health Network to host a free registration event on the first day of open registration Nov. 1 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Huntington Internal Medicine Group in Huntington.

The open registration period runs until January 15, 2023.

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