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Health insurance enrollment help available at Bullhook


October 31, 2017

Havre Daily News staff

Katherine Shrauger is again ready to help people navigate the marketplace and exchange of the Affordable Care Act to find the best insurance policy for themselves,

Open enrollment for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace opens Wednesday and Shrauger, the ACA outreach and enrollment coordinator at Bullhook Community Health Center, said the enrollment period has been shortened. People must select their policy by Dec. 15 this year, giving them 45 days to find a policy.

Under the Affordable Care Act, people must carry health insurance or pay a federal penalty assessed along with taxes. Congress tried several times to repeal ACA with the intent of replacing it, but the attempts failed and the law is still in effect.

“It’s still the law,” Shrauger said. “They have to be covered.”

She said the Medicaid enrollment is open year-round and she also can help people see if they qualify for that, and Native Americans can enroll for the basic health insurance through the marketplace or Medicaid year-round.

Three companies offer health insurance through the marketplace, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, PacificSource and Montana Health Co-op.

Shrauger said she can help people sort through the different policies and prices offered by the companies to find what is best for them.

“I’m encouraging people to come in to re-enroll because there are only a few plans this year and all the prices have changed,” she added.

She said she can also help people find out if they qualify for premium tax credits based on the family size and income. The tax credits are designed to help people pay their health insurance premiums.

Shrauger said people can call her at 395-6920 to schedule her appointments. She is at Bullhook from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be available after hours by appointment, she said.


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