Can I afford healthcare and do I qualify for insurance?

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The deadline for healthcare enrollment is fast approaching. Yet with only a week left to sign up, millions of people remain uninsured. Why? Perceived cost.

According to a study conducted by the non-profit group Enroll America, last year post-enrollment, six in ten people said they wanted health insurance, but many claimed they couldn't afford it. However, 79 percent of these people who were still uninsured also didn't know that financial assistance was available.

This meant that thousands of people did not capitalize on the tax credits or cost-sharing assistance, which could have saved them a significant sum of money.

For many Americans, this is the first time ever that investing in health insurance is affordable within their family budget. During the initial open enrollment period, 85 percent of people who signed up for health coverage qualified for financial assistance to lower their premium, and the average consumer who received financial help paid just $82 a month for their coverage.

Eligible individuals and families who buy their health plans in state health insurance marketplaces can reduce the cost of premiums through tax credits. Cost-sharing reductions can also lower the amount that beneficiaries pay out-of-pocket for covered, in-network care through copays, deductibles and coinsurance.

Selecting the right plan with the proper coverage and cost may seem a bit overwhelming. GetCoveredAmerica.org has tips and tools to guide consumers through the process to best select an option that suits individual and family needs. On the site, you can explore what financial assistance you may qualify for by using the Get Covered calculator tool. In-person application help is also available. Enter your ZIP code into the Get Covered Connector tool to receive the contact information for experts in your area.

Start by checking out the Get Covered 101, which will help answer some of the basic questions about health insurance and the options available to you through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Again, enrollment ends on February 15, 2015, and those who remain uninsured this period will face a fine. Use the tools provided at GetCoveredAmerica.org and get the information you need to find a health plan that works for you and your family.

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