I’ve noticed a lot of people posting about this lately and being that I’ve done a lot of research into it, read the bill, etc I figured I could post and maybe help relieve some panic that may be going on. This is especially important when the media is doing nothing to help educate and is causing more panic than necessary. SHARE this so more people can be informed.
First, the biggest thing:
Contrary to popular belief, if you don’t have health insurance in 2014 you don’t automatically have to pay a penalty. Penalties are for people who can afford health care but just don’t want to get it. You are exempt from paying any penalty if:
1. Your premium exceeds 8% of your income. For someone working full time on fed minimum wage (7.25/hr) this would be anything $100+ a month is considered 8%. Also, anyone who makes under $11,490 for a family of 1 is exempt, as this is considered under the federal poverty level. $23,550 is the poverty level for a family of four.
Here are the poverty level guidelines for 2013. They are expected to remain relatively the same for 2014.
2. You are not required to file taxes. This generally ties into the above reason, as those below federal poverty line don’t tend to file taxes and aren’t required to.
3. You have a legitimate religious reason for not enrolling.
4. Indian tribesmen/women are exempt.
5. You go without coverage for 3 or less months
6. You experience a general hardship that makes it hard for you to pay (Fire, catastrophic event, etc)
7. You are covered by insurance through your job, parents (for those 26 and under), government, military etc.
The most you will pay in 2014 in penalties if you don’t meet any of the above exemptions and decide not to get insurance is $95 per adult or $285 per family. This does increase in 2016 to $695 per adult and $2,085 per family. However, MOST people are going to fall under one of the seven exemptions up top (The majority being in #1, 2, or 7)
Open enrollment ends March 2014. Penalties are NOT going to be due in January. You have TIME.
Just about every state is going to have a health exchange for coverage to those who can’t go private or get covered for other reasons.
You can find out about those here. Open enrollment is until March 2014 and it opened today.
Also, if you fall between 100%-400% of the poverty line, you are eligible for government subsidies to help pay for insurance. A handy calculator is here.
Also, as of Jan 2014, you can no longer be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. For those of you who have been denied coverage before, those days are over.
Effects on Medicare
Many people are worried about how this will effect seniors and disabled individuals on Medicare. The good news is - it doesn’t really negatively impact them.
This page here will explain better than I can: How The Affordable Care Act Helps Seniors
If you have questions I will be happy to answer as many as I can. If I do not know the answer, I will try and find the answer for you.
This is an important event. Education is most definitely the key! Be informed!