Do you have health insurance yet for 2016? If not, time is running out to enroll and you may pay a penalty if you are uninsured this year.
Open enrollment lasts through Jan. 31. You and also change your health plan through the end of the month.
According to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, anyone who isn’t enrolled in a health plan by the deadline will have to pay a penalty when paying taxes for 2016.
The penalty for not having insurance in 2016 is either 2.5 percent of your yearly household income or $695 for every adult in your family plus $347.50 for every child under 18, whichever is higher.
For example it could cost $2,085 for a family of four, with two parents and two children younger than 18, earning $50,000 a year, as a penalty.
Oregonians can sign up, renew, or change their health insurance plans at HealthCare.gov. If you were already re-enrolled in your current plan, you can change plans through Jan. 31.
“If the price of your current plan has increased for 2016, it may be worth checking HealthCare.gov to see if you can find a less expensive plan or if you qualify for financial help,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, which runs the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace.
Financial help is available for many people if they enroll through HealthCare.gov. Depending on their income, they may qualify for tax credits to help pay their monthly premium and help with out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and co-pays.
Oregon has a network of insurance agents and community organizations that can help people enroll.
You can find an agent or community partner in your area by going to www.oregonhealthcare.gov/get-help.html or calling the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace foll-free at 1-855-268-3767.