MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - If you have not signed up for a 2016 insurance plan as part of the Affordable Care Act, the window to do so is quickly closing. If you do not enroll by 11:59 p.m., expect steep penalties heading your way.
The cost of not enrolling is $695 or 2.5% of your household income, whichever is greater.
But before you rush to pick a plan just to beat the deadline, health care providers want you to do your research. They recommend looking into what each of the plans has to offer. See which ones cover your health care needs, the doctors you prefer to see and any specific medications you might be taking.
Family Nurse Practitioner, Natali Amaradasa, from the local Care Team says the worst thing you can do is choose coverage that looks affordable only to find it's a plan that you can't actually use. "I would not recommend going for the cheapest plan because sometimes the medications that they might take might not be covered...the plans have the minimum coverage that's required by the United States Preventative Task Force but it depends on what the individual's medical needs are."
Choosing a health care plan for yourself or your family can be confusing, but the good news is you don't have to do it alone.
One health care representative says that agencies like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Choice have trained customer service representatives that are still available to talk to those who need guidance. Once you call their corporate 1-800 numbers, the reps will take as much time as you need to answer your questions about the open-enrollment process. They can also provide you with recommendations about the coverage that's a best fit for you based on your financial situation and health-related concerns.
Health care plans can range anywhere from $15-$200 per month. You can also ask if you qualify for subsidies.