Enroll the Ridge working to make sure Arkansans have health insurance

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Enroll the Ridge is working to make sure Region 8 residents have health coverage ahead of the open enrollment deadline.

Enroll the Ridge is an outreach organization for the Affordable Care Act and works with other affiliates across the state to make sure Arkansans are enrolled.

"We're a community outreach organization," said Jim McDonald, executive director of Enroll the Ridge. "We try to go where people gather. So, you'll see us at churches, at community events, and places like food pantries and homeless shelters. We're trying to get all the people who don't get caught in the net of advertising and marketing and help them find insurance."

McDonald said one of the biggest changes to open enrollment this year is a shorter enrollment period.

Open enrollment is now only 45 days instead of the usual 90 days enrollees may be used to.

"There are several issues involved here," McDonald said. "To get full credit, you have to file taxes and you will have had to file taxes previously. You also have to file a reconciliation of taxes with the coverage you get. There's a Form 6249 as well as your 1040 that you have to fill out."

If you don't have insurance coverage, McDonald said Arkansans could be fined up to $695 per person.

Enrollees will not have another chance to enroll in coverage unless they qualify for a special event such as marriage, divorce, a death in the family, among others.

Open enrollments end on Dec.15 if you'd like to contact Enroll the Ridge for assistance, call 870-336-0520.

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