Some consumers can get health insurance for $ 1, officials say

Oregon health officials are encouraging residents who don’t have health insurance to consider purchasing coverage through the state’s insurance market, where they could get a commercial policy for a premium. from just $ 1 per month after federal tax credits.

A special registration period runs from July 1 to August 1. 15 to register with an insurer via the marketplace and benefit from tax credits. The enrollment period is for people who have received or qualified for at least one week of unemployment benefits this year, said the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, which oversees the market system. .

Oregonians who do not receive insurance from their employer and are not enrolled in government plans such as Medicaid and Medicare must purchase coverage individually from commercial insurers. Buying through the state-run market system allows individuals to claim federal income tax credits to offset part of the cost of the premium. The amount of the credit depends on the income of the applicant.

The federal US bailout law, enacted earlier this year, provided for additional tax credits, effective April 1. Now, from July 1, even more credits are available, depending on whether the person received or was eligible for unemployment benefits, the state said. In total, the credits can reduce the price of a policy to $ 1 per month, the state said.

In order for a person to know if they are eligible for credits, they must apply through HealthCare.gov. Or they can visit OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop, which offers an overview of the latest tax credits available.

People who already have insurance through the exchange must log into the accounts and reapply if they wish to claim the additional credits based on their unemployment status.

Relatively few Oregonians buy blanket in the market. In 2020, nearly 141,000 Oregonians chose 2021 health plans in the market, according to the state.

Still, the online tool is crucial for people who do not have employer-provided plans or Medicare, and who are not eligible for the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program for. low-income residents.

In 2020, more than 70% of Oregonians who chose a plan in the market received a federal tax credit to help cover the premium. The average credit was $ 450 per month. Credits are available to individuals earning less than approximately $ 51,000 or a family of four earning less than approximately $ 105,000.

Traditionally, people buy in the market during the annual listing that is open in the winter, or when the person is going through a major change, such as losing a job. But the federal government has opened special registration periods due to the difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can reach Christian Wihtol at [email protected].

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