Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Kansas City Kansas Community College to host health insurance fair

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Kansas City Kansas Community College is hosting a Health Insurance Fair later this month to help people understand their options when it comes to purchasing health insurance.

The Health Insurance Fair is from noon to 2 p.m. March 26 in the deli area of Lower Jewell. It is free and open to the public.

“Many times it can be confusing to look at it online,” said Kim Morgan, nurse at KCKCC, of health insurance. “This will allow people to meet with companies and brokers who will introduce them to insurances of all types as well as costs.

Morgan said many individuals might have missed the opportunity to enroll during the enrollment time for healthcare.gov as the site closed Feb. 15. However, the government is re-opening the site for a short period from March 15 through April 30.

According to healthcare.gov, individuals can still enroll for 2015 coverage if they do not owe a fee for not having coverage in 2014, have not already enrolled in 2015 coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace or did not realize until after Open Enrollment ended last month that the health care law requires individuals to have health coverage.

“That is another reason to have the insurance fair, so some of those questions can be answered,” she said. “It is beneficial for the students to attend the insurance fair to obtain the necessary knowledge for insurance.”

This year, taxpayers will be responsible to pay $95 per person or 1-percent of their yearly household income (whichever is higher) if they did not have health insurance in 2014 or did not go to healthcare.gov and register, showing they did not qualify for insurance. Next year, that penalty will increase to $325 per person or 2-percent of the yearly household income. If individuals do not have coverage in 2016, they will pay the higher of these two amounts – 2.5 percent of the yearly household income or $695 per person. The penalty for not having health insurance is paid on federal income taxes.

Insurance companies will be on hand during the insurance fair to answer questions and assist individuals in signing up for insurance. Companies that will be attending include Coventry, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Amerigroup, among others.

“KCKCC is hosting this event to educate our students and community to assist in their growth and knowledge in healthcare,” Morgan said. “This will allow individuals to become their own advocate in caring for themselves by having the knowledge to make a more informed decision.”

For more information on the Health Insurance Fair, contact Kim Morgan at 913-288-7683 or visit Room 3363.