Health insurance marketplace navigation

The Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace’s open enrollment will be from Nov. 1, 2015, to Jan. 31, 2016. Both SEARHC and the Internal Revenue Service have offered assistance in selecting the right insurance plan.

SEARHC’s outreach and enrollment manager Andrea Thomas will give a presentation on Friday, Nov. 20, from noon – 1 p.m. at the Kettleson Memorial Library in Sitka.

The presentation will include information about affordable health care coverage available through the Health Insurance Marketplace and explain who is eligible, who qualifies for lower-cost health coverage, pitfalls to avoid and how to enroll. Thomas will also discuss Medicaid eligibility requirements and how to apply.

For more information, Southeast residents can call 966-8883 or 966-8662.

In a press release, the IRS advised people to keep three important tax considerations in mind when enrolling or renewing their health insurance through the marketplace.

All, some or none of a person’s estimated credit can be paid in advance directly to their insurance company on their behalf to lower what is paid out-of-pocket on monthly premiums – this is called advance payments of the premium tax credit or advance credit payments. A person not using advance credit payments is responsible for paying the full monthly premium.

Second, a tax return may be required of a person if they received the benefit of advance credit payments. They must file a tax return to reconcile the amount of advance credit payments made on their behalf with the amount of their actual premium tax credit. The person must file an income tax return for this purpose even if they are otherwise not required to file a return.

Finally, credit can be claimed at tax time if a person chose to not get advance credit payments, or got less than the full amount in advance. A person can claim the full benefit of the premium tax credit that they are allowed when they file their tax return. This will increase their refund or lower the amount of tax that they would otherwise owe.

For more information about open season enrollment, visit Healthcare.gov. and IRS.gov/ca. for information about the premium tax credit.

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