Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

January 17, 2014

The hangups of healthcare

Affordable Care Act tax credits tough for many Kokomo residents to obtain

(Continued)

The truth is, each hospital and doctor takes only some products offered through the marketplace, Herman said.

In Howard County, St. Joseph Hospital accepts MDwise marketplace insurance products, but not Anthem. Community Howard Regional Health in Kokomo, however, accepts Anthem marketplace products, but not MDwise, Herman said.

“If patients want to go to a specific hospital or doctor, it is important they choose the plan accepted by their care provider of choice,” she said.

Maybe the biggest misunderstanding applicants have, D’Agostino said, is regarding the penalties that must be paid by those who don’t have health insurance this year.

People who don’t have coverage in 2014 have to pay a penalty of $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, or 1 percent of your income (whichever is higher). The fee increases every year.

It is important to note that those who don’t qualify for coverage through the ACA or HIP can receive an exemption on the penalty, D’Agostino said.

Reaching Out

While some in Kokomo and Howard County have struggled to obtain ACA tax credits, there are resources and outreach available to both educate residents about the health insurance marketplace and help guide them through the application process.

St. Joseph Hospital continues to host a series of enrollment sessions where those interested in applying for coverage can get assistance and find out what plan is best for them.

Community Howard Regional Health, the Indiana Health Center, Project Access, Soul Anchor Apostolic Church and the Greentown Lions Club also have hosted enrollment events to help guide residents through the application process.

In addition to navigator assistance, the health care forums often provide extensive information about what one should know before signing up for coverage and question and answer sessions that can provide insight to residents’ most pressing issues.

Kokomo resident Kimberly Watson started her application at Project Access this week and thought the process ran fairly smoothly with the help of a navigator.

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