Health insurance deadline 1 week away

Health insurance enrollment

JACKSON, Tenn. — People who want health insurance under the Affordable Care Act have one week left to enroll or face a fine.

“We’re here to help,” West Tennessee Healthcare Patient Access Services Manager Chad Foutch said.

Time is running out for people to purchase insurance through healthcare.gov. Tennesseans must sign up by Dec. 15 in order to have coverage by Jan. 1.

“We have reps on site who are able to enroll folks through the marketplace healthcare.gov and answer any questions that they may have,” Foutch said.

If you do not have health insurance, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance said be prepared to pay a fine.

“There is a financial penalty from the federal government if you are uninsured in 2016,” Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Spokesman Kevin Walters said.

The penalty for not having insurance has increased. Consumers must pay either $695 per adult and $347.50 per child younger than 18 years old or 2.5 percent of their annual income. That is up from last year. The fee for not having coverage in 2015 was $325 per adult and $162.50 per child younger than 18 years old or 2 percent of their annual income. People pay whichever penalty is greater.

“That penalty would be assessed on the following year’s tax return,” Foutch said.

Foutch said premiums range in price. “Maybe less than $100 on up towards whatever particular threshold that person would want coverage for,” he said.

If you have questions about open enrollment, contact the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance at 1-800-342-4029 or 615-741-2218.

For enrollment appointments, contact 844-731-1280.