Open enrollment for Health Insurance Marketplace begins Nov. 1

Now is the time to begin planning to sign up for Affordable Care Act health insurance for 2017, SVT Health & Wellness officials have reminded in a press release.

Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace begins Tuesday, Nov. 1. Financial help is available to offset the cost of insurance. More than 88 percent of Alaskans who applied last year were eligible for cost savings. Alaskans who have already signed up for insurance through the Marketplace will have through Dec. 15 to make changes to their coverage. There may be additional plans available and different prices, so it is recommended that even those satisfied with their current plan browse through the options and look into what cost saving reductions are available. Changes to current plans will go into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Individuals already insured through the Marketplace may be required to change their password on the website for security reasons. Insured individuals may also be sent a letter requesting more information. It is important to respond right away, as insurance coverage could be canceled if all required documents are not received by the due date in the letter.

For those that have not yet signed up for health insurance, the open enrollment period is Nov. 1, 2016, through Jan. 31, 2017. It is recommended that those who wish to enroll set up an account now in preparation for the influx of individuals that are likely to enroll during that period. Familiarizing yourself with the available plans also is encouraged.

Anyone that did not have health insurance in place during the 2016 calendar year will be required to pay a tax penalty on their 2016 tax filings. That penalty may be as low as $695 per adult, and half that for each child, or 2.5 percent of your income, whichever is higher. Alaskans who do not have health insurance in 2017 will face higher penalties when filing their taxes in 2018.

“If you need assistance setting up an account on the Health Insurance Marketplace website and exploring your options and eligibility for cost saving reductions, we are here to assist you,” said Monica Anderson, outreach and enrollment coordinator with SVT Health & Wellness. “We are trained to help you navigate the process of getting yourself covered.”

For more information, call Anderson at 435-3231 or email her at


Homer Senior Citizens Inc.

to host tonight’s mixer

Homer Senior Citizens Inc. will host tonight’s Homer Chamber of Commerce mixer. The mixer will be from 5:30-7 p.m. at the senior center, 3935 Svedlund.

Nyla Lightcap will give an update about the planned Alzheimer’s unit, the new flooring project and other plans of Homer Senior Citizens Inc.

For more information, call the chamber at 235-7740.