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HealthSource RI Announces Open Enrollment Dates for Individual and Family Health Coverage

PROVIDENCE, RI – HealthSource RI (HSRI), Rhode Island’s health benefits exchange, announced today the third Open Enrollment period for individuals and families to purchase health coverage for 2016 runs from November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016. A recent health insurance survey conducted by HealthSource RI showed that despite a drop in the state’s uninsured rate to a historic low in 2015, there are still thousands of Rhode Islanders without health coverage who may be eligible to receive financial help to pay for their coverage.

Earlier this year, Rhode Island announced the major accomplishment of driving down the uninsured rate in Rhode Island to approximately five percent, largely due to the state’s full embrace of the Affordable Care Act, including the implementation of a state-based exchange and Medicaid expansion. Still, over 50,000 Rhode Islanders are without health coverage, many citing concerns about cost. However, nearly 9 out of 10 Rhode Islanders who purchased coverage through HealthSource this past year received financial help to pay for their coverage.

HSRI announced more than two dozen plans will be available from among major insurers on the exchange, including Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI, UnitedHealthcare and Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, as well as dental insurance plans from Delta Dental and Dentegra.

For existing customers who are currently enrolled in an individual or family plan through HealthSource RI, health coverage ends on December 31, 2015. New this year, however, customers can opt to have their plan automatically renewed in the same plan or a similar plan (if their insurer is not offering the same plan for next year), as long as they continue to make their monthly premium payment.

Customers may also choose a new plan by visiting HealthSourceRI.com and logging into their account to view, choose and pay for a new plan. Customers can enroll or find in-person assistance nearby to their home or work through a Navigator or Certified Application Counselor. HealthSource RI is also hosting over 20 enrollment assistance events in the community. More information is available on the website, by calling the Contact Center at 1-855-840-4774, or by dialing United Way 2-1-1 to find in-person assistance.

New customers enrolling in an individual or family plan for 2016 through HealthSource RI must choose a plan and pay their first month’s premium by December 23, 2015, to ensure their coverage is in effect on January 1, 2016. Customers can view HealthSource RI’s 2016 health plans side-by-side on health plan rate sheets for individuals and small employers online at HealthSourceRI.com, and use the online cost calculator to find a plan that meets their needs and their budget.

For Rhode Islanders who can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, the federal government imposes a fee or penalty, unless a person has a health coverage exemption. The fee for not having health coverage in 2016 is the higher of 2.5% of one’s yearly household income or $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family could be as high as $2,085. The fee is paid on the federal income tax return filed for the year a person doesn’t have coverage. (Most people will file their 2016 returns in early 2017.)

Small employers may enroll in health insurance coverage throughout the year at their regular renewal date. HealthSource RI for Employers, which offers plans to Rhode Island employers with 50 or fewer employees, will also offer plans from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island and UnitedHealthcare, as well as dental insurance plans from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Delta Dental of Rhode Island and Guardian. In addition, small employers can opt for the Full Employee Choice model, which allows employers to set a defined contribution amount, and allow employees to select from any of the plans offered on the small business exchange.

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