Insurance

Navigators Ready to Help Ohioans Get Insurance

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Dozens of Navigators are available to help Ohioans purchase health care plans in the Federal Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment is ongoing and will continue through December 15 for coverage beginning January 1.

Nearly 260,000 Ohioans listed on the cover for 2022, an increase of 24% compared to the previous year.

Federal leaders provided an additional $99 million in funding to sailors to help them register.

Kathryn Bamberger, outreach and enrollment coordinator for Southeast Healthcare, said navigators help consumers compare plans to determine the right cost and coverage for them.

“I can’t stress how helpful contacting a navigator is because you want to make sure you’re getting the support you’re entitled to,” Bamberger said. “We are totally impartial, and a big part of what we do is educate, from coverage to care.”

Congress also extended subsidies for health insurance premiums, so customers will pay no more than 8.5% of their household income on health coverage through the federal exchange through 2025. To schedule an appointment, people can to visit getcoveredohio.org.

Bamberger said another change this year is that families who have access to employer coverage can now also get plans through the marketplace with subsidies.

“Before, we had to consider whether the insurance for the employee was affordable,” Bamberger said. “If it was affordable for the employee, then that family wouldn’t be able to access market insurance. But they did not investigate whether the premium was affordable for the spouse or the children.

Bamberger said those already covered by the market are also reviewing their coverage because there are so many low-cost options.

“For people with low incomes, there is even help to pay out-of-pocket costs,” Bamberger said. “It’s not available to everyone who receives premium assistance, but it is available to a lot of people.”

It is estimated that 4 out of 5 customers will be able to find plans for $10 or less per month.

– Reporting by Ohio News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.