Deadline upcoming to have health coverage effective in new year
Rhode Island residents have until Monday, Dec. 23, to enroll in an insurance plan with HealthSource RI if they want health coverage to begin in the new year. The deadline reflects the federal government’s one-week extension.
For coverage to begin for individuals and families on Jan. 1, a plan must be selected and the first month’s premium must be paid. To most easily explore options, officials say to have last year’s tax form; Social Security numbers; Employer Identification Number; current insurance information; and names of doctors.
Many Rhode Islanders who purchase insurance through Health- Source RI will qualify for tax credits to help make monthly premiums more affordable. The tax credits, potentially available to individuals making up to $45,960 a year and families of four making up to $94,200 a year, are applied immediately to reduce the monthly premium, not as an end-of-year tax refund. Depending on income and family size, some Rhode Islanders may qualify for low-cost or no-cost insurance coverage.
HealthSource RI offers 12 different health insurance plans for individuals and families from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, as well as dental plans. All plans cover doctor visits, emergency services, hospitalizations, maternity and newborn care, mental-health and substance-abuse treatment services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, chronic-disease management and pediatric services. All plans also cover blood pressure screenings, breast cancer screenings and mammograms, Pap tests, cholesterol screenings, colorectal cancer screenings, depression screenings, obesity screening and counseling, and adult immunizations, such as flu shots, hepatitis A and B, and pneumonia vaccines.
The open enrollment period for individuals and families ends on March 31, 2014. Medicaid-eligible individuals may enroll throughout the year.