As you’ve probably already seen on the news, there is a law that most Americans are required to carry health insurance for themselves and their dependents on January 1, 2014, or pay a penalty when they file their tax return. This is known as the Individual Mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
But… what exactly does that mean? And does it affect you?
You are only exempt from the mandate if you are:
a. Members of certain religious groups and Native American tribes
b. Undocumented immigrants
c. Incarcerated individuals
d. People whose incomes are so low they don’t have to file taxes
e. People with household income below 100% of the federal poverty level in states that did not expand Medicaid
f. People who are uninsured for a period that is less than 3 months
g. People for whom health insurance is considered unaffordable (where insurance premiums after employer contributions and federal subsidies exceed 8% of family income)
If you have qualified health insurance, you are covered and are not required to take any action. Examples of qualified health insurance are:
b. Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
c. TRICARE for Life program
d. Veterans’ health care
e. Health coverage plan available to Peace Corps volunteers
f. Employer-sponsored plans, provided that:
i. The plan covers at least 60% of covered costs.
ii. The employee’s cost for self-only coverage is not more than 9.5% of the employee’s household income. If the cost of the insurance is more than 9.5% of household income, the employee may be eligible for a subsidy if they purchase insurance through a Health Insurance Marketplace (or Exchange). They must opt out of the employer insurance: they cannot be enrolled in qualified insurance and be eligible for the premium assistance credit, even if that insurance is greater than 9.5% of household income.
If you are not exempt and not covered by qualified health insurance, you may qualify for a premium assistance credit to help off set the cost of the insurance if you buy insurance through a government-run Exchange. To do so, household income must be between 100%–400% of the federal poverty level to be eligible for a credit.
Through a reputable program, we are happy to provide to you a reliable site that will provide in-depth calculations of the premium assistance credit as well as list the various health insurance plans available to them within the Exchange and through the private market, and the cost of those plans.
If you are under 65, visit this link to check your eligibility for a government subsidy under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
For anyone 65 and over, visit this link to shop for medicare insurance.