The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had its share of ups and downs. When the ACA was written into law in 2010 its troubles and successes began. More recently, enrollment began for insurance across the United States, and the ACA and Insurance Marketplace has been ridiculed for its troubles.
Northwest Health Services isn’t here to fuel the fire or douse the flames in the debate for health care. We are here to provide facts without taking sides. We have complied our Frequently Asked Questions for the ACA and hope they can help you understand the ACA and Insurance Marketplace a little better.
If I already have insurance/Medicaid/Medicare, how does the ACA affect me?
If you have Medicaid/Medicare then you will not be required to access the Marketplace at all. These two government funded programs meet the requirements the new law has set forth and you will not be charged a penalty. If you currently have insurance, whether it’s through an employer, a spouses employer or privately, your plan must meet the minimum standards that the ACA now requires each and every insurance plan to cover (preventive care, maternity, etc.). If your current plan meets the requirements then you will not need to access the Marketrplace. If your plan does not, then one of two things will happen. Your insurance provider will need to change your policy in order to meet the governments standards or you will be eligible to receive insurance through the Marketplace and possibly for government assistance, either way, you will receive a letter from your provider.
What are the penalties if I choose not to have insurance?
The penalties will be assessed when you file taxes and will grow over the next three years. In 2014, the penalty will be $95 per individual or 1% of your income, whichever is greater. In 2015 the penalty goes up to $295 per individual and in 2016 it rises again to $695 per individual.
How long do I have to enroll?
Open enrollment runs from October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. After open enrollment ends, you will not be able to obtain insurance through the Marketplace until open enrollment again in the fall of 2014 unless you experience a life changing event, such as loss of employment.
Which individuals will qualify for an exception from the penalty?
You can be exempt if the lowest priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8 percent of your household income. Those who do not file a tax return because of low income ($10,000 for an individual, $20,000 for a family in 2013), or those who are uninsured for fewer than three months of the year are also exempt. A few other reasons for exemption include, being an undocumented immigrant, an incarcerated individual, a member of an Indian tribe, and those who belong to a religion opposed to acceptance of benefits from a health insurance policy.
How much will it cost me to see a Certified Applications Counselor?
Our services are absolutely, completely, 100% free. Please contact us to set up a FREE appointment. Tina Whiting: 816-244-9695 Tyler Graff: 816-244-9610