Hilltop helping uninsured with health insurance enrollment

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FRUITA, Colo. (KKCO) -- Hilltop Health Access has held multiple walk-in enrollment sessions for community members to get more information about how they can get coverage.

Greg Olson with Hilltop Health Access is hoping to ease the public through the process.

"We can help walk you through the process, so you're informed what the consequences are and the options are to your family," said Olson.

Officials said many people are hoping to avoid enrolling in coverage due to President-elect Trump's vow to repeal Obamacare, which requires everyone to have health insurance or pay a fine.

"Everyone anticipates there will be changes, but as it stands right now the law is still in place. For the mandate, you have to have health insurance or pay penalties with your tax returns the following year," said Greg Olson, the Connect for Health coordinator with Hilltop Health Access.

Hilltop Health Access is only having one more walk-in enrollment event on Dec. 7, before the open enrollment period ends on Dec.15.

That event is at the Main Library in Grand Junction, Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Deadlines for open enrollment include:

December 15th – to have insurance beginning on January 1, 2017

January 31st – to avoid penalties for not having coverage in 2017

After January 31st – you must have a qualifying life change event occur within 60 days in order to purchase health insurance outside of the open enrollment period.

If you do not get health insurance by the deadline, there is a penalty of $695 per adult and half that for each child or 2.5 percent of the household income...whichever is greater.

Hilltop will continue to have Health Coverage Guides available by appointment at several locations: 1129 Colorado Ave, Grand Junction, and 215 N. Plum St, Fruita, Mesa County Health Department, and Marillac Clinic.

Olson said new data shows that Colorado now has 6.7 percent uninsured residents, which is the lowest in state history and one of the lowest in the country.

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