Feb. 15 deadline to obtain 2015 coverage and avoid tax penalty
Editorial by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
There is an important Affordable Care Act deadline approaching and only 17 percent of uninsured individuals know when it is according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation Poll.
On Sunday, Feb. 15, most uninsured individuals will need to obtain coverage to avoid being subject to a tax penalty - at least 2 percent of their income. With this deadline quickly approaching, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York continues efforts to ensure every member of the community has the adequate resources needed to simplify options and select the plan that best fits one's needs.
BlueCross BlueShield will offer enrollment events through the weekend. Taking place across Western New York, the events offer access to the Internet, a short overview of the NY State of Health Marketplace and face-to-face interaction with BlueCross BlueShield's licensed benefit consultants to answer questions and help through the enrollment process. Walk-ins are welcome or individuals can call 1-800-888-5407 to pre-register.
Schedule of enrollment events:
In addition, BlueCross BlueShield representatives continue to field questions and help individuals understand their options at eight Western New York Target retail stores. BlueCross BlueShield kiosks will be staffed by representatives of the health plan with computers and enrollment collateral this Thursday and Friday from 4-8 p.m.
Online enrollment remains the most popular channel for individuals looking to gain coverage. BlueCross BlueShield offers an intuitive shopping journey for individual exchange shoppers at www.ShopBluePlans.com. The website features a personal quote and subsidy calculator with a soft transfer over to the New York State of Health Marketplace to finalize the individual's selection.
"There is still time for individuals to log on to shopblueplans.com, assess their options and find the plan that fits their needs," said Dave Busch, senior vice president, chief sales officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. "The New York State of Health is running smoothly and we continue to provide assistance."
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is uniquely positioned to offer Exchange consumers a widely recognized and trusted health brand with 12 distinct product options, along with a strong array of value-adds including:
•$250 wellness card for gym memberships, massage therapy, health food store purchases and races of 5K, 10K and marathon distances' entrance fees;
•More than $1,000 in savings with "Two for One" cards - created exclusively for BlueCross BlueShield of WNY subscribers by City Dining Cards (www.twoforonewny.com);
•More than 50 free checkups and preventive services;
•A membership card that is recognized and accepted worldwide, not just in Western New York
In addition to individual health insurance, the BlueCross BlueShield plans include dental-only coverage for children and adults and a variety of health insurance offerings for small businesses (two-50 employees).
Individuals can speak with a BlueCross BlueShield customer service representative by calling 800-888-5407 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and special hours this weekend only from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.