Two health insurance providers recently announced they plan to expand their offerings on the federal health care marketplace to provide options for residents of Jackson, Decatur, Grant and Wayne counties.
The four counties were previously at risk of having no provider options beginning in 2018 after Anthem and MDwise announced plans in June to pull out of the state’s federal health care marketplace.
Earlier this week, CareSource and Managed Health Services, notified Gov. Eric J. Holcomb’s office and the Indiana Department of Insurance of their decisions to expand coverage to the four counties.
“I commend CareSource and MHS for stepping forward to ensure that these four counties will have options for Hoosiers seeking a health insurance provider on the federal marketplace,” Holcomb said in a news release. “This is a prime example demonstrating the way states like Indiana are better positioned than the federal government to solve problems and meet citizens’ health care needs.”
Open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and will end just six weeks later on Dec. 15, according to a news release from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The filing period is shorter than previous open-enrollment periods and it’s the first time that open enrollment will end before the start of the new year.
The change is designed to more closely align with Medicare and the private marketplace and to encourage individuals to enroll in coverage prior to the beginning of a year.
All plans selected during open enrollment will take effect Jan. 1, 2018.
This year, 807 Jackson County residents are enrolled in the federal health insurance marketplace, according to the center. In 2016, the number of county residents enrolled in plans was 1,186 and in 2015, the number was 986.
There are three certified health insurance navigators in Jackson County: Luvia Hesser and Kimberly D. Noe, who are at the Community Health Center of Jackson County at 113 N. Chestnut St. in Seymour and Emily Riley with HRS ERASE Inc. at Schneck Medical Center, 411 W. Tipton St., Seymour.
The Community Health Center may be reached at 812-524-8388 and the HRS ERASE number is 812-522-0514.
Navigators are individuals who assist consumers in completing federal Health Insurance Marketplace applications at HealthCare.gov or Indiana Health Coverage Program applications (such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP 2.0), which may be accessed online at dfrbenefits.in.gov.