On October 1, 2013 millions of Americans were introduced to another way to purchase health insurance. The Federally Funded Insurance Marketplace or “Exchange” is the platform for enrollment in the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. We at Continental Insurance Agency, are a part of this new Marketplace and can discuss the options available to you and/or your family.
Under the Affordable Care Act, you are required to have health insurance. You can get it from your workplace. You can purchase an independent health plan. You can get it from Medicare or Medicaid .Or you can buy the coverage provided by the ACA in the Marketplace exchange. March 31, 2014 ended the first enrollment period for ACA’s coverage.
If you don’t have insurance in 2014 (unless you’re exempt), you will have to pay a tax penalty for every month you aren’t covered starting May 1, 2014. This penalty will show up when you go to file your taxes for 2014.
What to Do Now
If you are still uninsured, you have several options to avoid paying the penalty:
- See if you qualify for a special enrollment period.
Life events like moving to a new state, changes in your income, birth, death, marriage, and divorce qualify you to enroll in an ACA program within 60 days of the life event.
- Apply for Medicaid, Medicare, or other programs.
If you qualify for any federally supported health programs, you will be covered and won’t have to worry about enrolling in ACA or private insurance programs. You must have a limited income or special medical needs (pregnancy, young children, or disability) to qualify.
- See if you qualify for an exemption.
Most U.S. citizens and legal immigrants must have health coverage starting January 1, 2014. However, some people are exempt. Those with certain religious beliefs, members of Native American tribes, Alaska Native shareholders, undocumented immigrants, people in prison, you have experienced hardship, or people with an income below a certain level are not required to buy insurance.
If you believe you might qualify for an exemption, you must fill out an exemption form at healthcare.gov. You can also claim exemptions when you fill out your 2014 tax return.
- Buy individual insurance or COBRA and wait for the next open enrollment.
The next enrollment period for Marketplace is November 15, 2014. You can get temporary insurance until ACA is available. Or you can pay the penalty until you do get coverage. You have a 3 month grace period before the penalty starts kicking in.
Talk to one of our insurance experts to find something that works for you. Does your job offer health benefits? Can you get a subsidy for private insurance to make it more affordable? We’ll help you find out.
Avoid the penalty and find a solution at Continental Insurance today. Call (801) 438-0108.
Questions about whether your current health coverage qualifies under ACA? Check out the resources below.