The deadline for the first round of enrollment for the HealthCare.gov marketplace insurance for 2024 ended on Dec. 15.
However, for those who didn't make that deadline, they can still enroll themselves and their families by Jan. 15 for insurance plans that begin on Feb. 1.
Although Linn County residents can apply for the program on the HealthCare.gov website, Community Health Centers of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK) has a staff member on board who has become an expert in helping families find affordable insurance.
Peggy Shoe, who does outreach for CHC/SEK, said that families who earn between $14,000 to $23,000 annually can get a low cost plan for the entire family.
For example, a family of six with a combined income of $16,000 to $18,000 can get a plan for the whole family for $5 monthly or even free, she said. That’s zero to $5 monthly.
Those who think they might qualify for a marketplace plan can contact Shoe directly by either phone, 913-354-2367, or by email, email@example.com. There is no charge for her services.
Shoe said that marketplace plans are available to both single people and families up to 20 people. It is not, however, for people who are on Medicare.
She said the marketplace program has been particularly important after the Medicaid rolls were purged earlier this year. Some of the people whose families were dropped can qualify, but not necessarily all of them.
Shoe lamented that the Legislature has not taken the opportunity to approve the expansion of Medicaid to help low-income residents. Estimates on the number of Kansans who have no insurance coverage now but could be covered if Medicaid expansion was approved run as high as 150,000.
She also lamented the fact that the income window for the marketplace plan is so narrow. Once family income reaches a certain level, the monthly cost increases dramatically.