When is the deadline for signing up for the Affordable Care Act?
Great question! There are a couple of deadlines to know. First, if you want health insurance that starts on January 1st, you must enroll in a health plan by December 15th. If you don't select a plan by then, you have until February 15th to enroll for insurance and avoid a penalty for 2015. Keep in mind, if you are eligible for Medicaid, there is no deadline- Medicaid is always open!
What is the penalty if you don't sign up?
The requirement to have health insurance started this year (2014). If you were uninsured for more than 9 months this year, you will pay a penalty when doing your 2014 taxes. The penalty for this year is $95 or 1% of your income- whichever is GREATER. For 2015, the penalty goes up to $325 or 2% of your income- whichever is greater. That is per adult in your household and half that amount per child.
How do you sign up for the Affordable Care Act?
Ohio and Indiana use the federal health insurance marketplace- which is www.healthcare.gov. Kentucky has its own- www.kynect.gov. You can go online, look at plans, set up an account which will help you to determine if you qualify for a financial help through a tax subsidy. You can also reach out for help and have someone help you to enroll. www.areyoucoveredohio.com can help you schedule an appointment in Ohio- kynect.gov can help in Kentucky.
How much does help to enroll cost?
Help to enroll in insurance is free! There are "navigators" that are available throughout the community and health insurance brokers that can help make sense of all the options you have and all services are free to the customer.
What type of financial help is available for those looking to enroll?
For people who earn below 138% of the federal poverty level (minimum wage)- they would probably qualify for free insurance through Medicaid in Ohio and Kentucky. For those who earn between 139% and 400% ($15,000-$46,000) for a single adult, they would qualify for tax subsidy to help make insurance more affordable. The lower the income, the higher the subsidy.
How does this year's enrollment compare to last year, so far?
If I live in Indiana, how do I get insurance?
Indiana has the federal health insurance marketplace- so you can go to www.healthcare.gov or call 800-318-2596 to sign up for insurance. Indiana has not yet expanded Medicaid as allowed under the ACA, so the tax subsidies start with those that earn 138% up to 400% of the federal poverty level.
Too soon to tell! The marketplace just opened on Saturday. Luckily, the website is working this year!
Thanks for your question, Nancy!
The only way to know is for you to go through the process and determine what type of subsidy you qualify for. You can do this online or you can go to a navigator or broker to help you through the process. Which state do you live in?
To get help in Kentucky, go to www.kynect.gov or call 855-459-6328.
What is the most common way that people get health insurance?
The majority of people under 65 (over 65, most people have Medicare) still receive their insurance through their employer. Even though those numbers have been dropping. Last year 7 million people bought insurance through the health insurance marketplaces, that number is expected to increase this year.
What is the difference between the coverage you'd get with the Affordable Care Act and coverage from a provider like your employer?
Hi Angie: If your employer offers coverage that provides the minimum essential coverage that is required of plans offered on the Marketplace and the employer plan is affordable (meaning your share of the premium for your coverage is less than 9.5% of your income) then you cannot qualify for financial assistance to reduce the cost of Marketplace plans. You can be enrolled in Medicaid and employer sponsored coverage at the same time. Is the coverage you have now private or through Medicaid?
Thanks for your question, RC... Trey will be right with you.
Hi Kelly: If the plan offered by your employer does not cover hospitalization, it does not satisfy the minimum coverage requirements of the ACA. If the plan offered by your employer does not satisfy the ACA, you can purchase coverage and qualify for financial assistance through the Marketplace.
Hi RC: Not all the plans offered on the Marketplace have high deductibles. You can "window shop" at healthcare.gov and see the actual costs of plans available to you or you can meet with an enrollment assister who can explain the options available to you.
Hi RC: Have you looked at healthcare.gov yet?
Hi Kelly: I will be right with you
Kelly: I am not as familiar with Kynect and am trying to see the provider functions available right now. Often the easiest way to answer your question is to ask your provider whether the provider participates in any plans offered by the Kynect
Hi RC: The point of having insurance is planning for unexpected risks as well as making decisions based on your personal history. Your choice is to purchase coverage that best meets your needs or have no insurance and pay the tax penalty and pay out of pocket for all medical expenses. You will incur several thousands of dollars of medical bills with one visit to the emergency room will There is free, unbiased enrollment assistance available to help you find the plan that best meets your medical and budget needs.
Hi JC KY: I am not able to advise you the specific providers included in each plan offered through Kynect. You can contact 1-855-4kynect (459-6328) to be connected with a Navigator in Kentucky that can help you determine the providers available through each pan in Kynect.
Hi Connie: Medicaid income eligibility is based on your tax household. So your eligibility is based on the income of you and those that you claim as a dependent or claim you as a dependent. IF you claim no dependents and no one claims you as a dependent, then your income eligibility is based on your income alone.
Thank you Connie, JC KY, RC and Kelly for the questions!