March 31st is the Affordable Care Act Deadline, but What if You Can’t Afford Insurance?

For whatever reason you can’t afford the insurance available in the healthcare exchange affiliated with the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), well here’s your options:

1) Pay the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment, or

2) File for an exemption

If you didn’t know about the penalty here’s excerpts from healthcare.gov further explaining the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment:

The penalty increases every year. In 2015 it’s 2% of income or $325 per person. In 2016 and later years it’s 2.5% of income or $695 per person. After that it’s adjusted for inflation.

If you’re paying under the $95 per person method, in 2014 the payment for uninsured children is $47.50 per child. The most a family would have to pay under this method in 2014 is $285.

You make the payment when you file your 2014 taxes, which are due in April 2015.

If you’re uninsured for just part of the year, 1/12 of the yearly penalty applies to each month you’re uninsured. If you’re uninsured for less than 3 months, you don’t have to make a payment.

If you pay the fee, you’re not covered

It’s important to remember that someone who pays the penalty doesn’t have any health insurance coverage. They still will be responsible for 100% of the cost of their medical care.

After open enrollment ends on March 31, 2014, they won’t be able to get health coverage through the Marketplace until the next annual enrollment period, unless they have a qualifying life event. Learn more about qualifying for coverage outside Open Enrollment.

Now if you’re getting stressed out, or a little hot under the collar about this tax/penalty, and you can’t afford this due to a financial hardship or other reason, healthcare.gov has listed the reasons and steps on how you can file for an exemption to the penalty/tax that is assessed on all individuals and families that aren’t insured and actively participating.

According to healthcare.gov one reason for an exemption is, “You don’t have to file a tax return because your income is too low” Review the link below for more reasons and details on how to file for exemption:

https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/

To find out what qualifies as a Qualifying Life Event, visit: https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/qualifying-life-event

What are your thoughts about the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment?

Do you find this option helpful and empowering, or is this option even more taxing on your life?

What are your personal options if you can’t afford insurance but also earn too much to qualify for government-assisted healthcare such as Medicaid and MediCal?

Share your comments and feedback. Let’s have some healthy dialogue. Knowledge is power. Learned lessons build wisdom.

~Natasha

Sources:
healthcare.gov

https://www.healthcare.gov/how-can-i-get-coverage-outside-of-open-enrollment/

https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/

https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/qualifying-life-event

Most Americans Still Clueless About the Healthcare Law

Gallup just recently released the following update:
 
 Americans are no more familiar with the healthcare law now than they were last August, when Gallup began asking Americans about it. Republicans are more likely than other adults to say they are very or somewhat familiar with the law.
 
 Read more here
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Source:
 http://www.gallup.com/poll/167351/americans-familiarity-healthcare-law-unchanged.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=All%20Gallup%20Headlines
 
 
 
 Copyright 2014.
 
 
 

The New Yorker Chimes in on ObamaCare

Oooh it’s getting better and better, and now The New Yorker has chimed in on ObamaCare, and its impact on small business and the U.S. As a small business owner I need to know all of the facts because every decision made, and every law passed, ultimately impacts me and the companies I operate. So I decided to quickly summarize their fact checking which you can find here: http://wp.me/p11NVc-6T

Share your thoughts and if you are a small business owner, does this information lessen your stress or confuse you even more?

For those of you who are anti-ObamaCare, does this change your mind or make you dig your heels in deeper?

Let’s have some healthy dialogue!

 

 

Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Paradigm Life.

Are you or Your Spouse at Risk of Losing Employer-Sponsored Insurance Coverage?

Today I wrote an article for my Business Management Firm, Foreman & Associates LLC, highlighting an article that I read about UPS’s decision to cut insurance coverage for 15,000 spouses of non-union workers in the U.S.

Read my article here: http://wp.me/p11NVc-5X and share your thoughts, experiences, and possible solutions for small business owners, and the employees that are caught in the middle.

Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Natasha L. Foreman.

>Health Coverage Examined

>So, many of you have heard me voice my concern over the years concerning health insurance costs, coverage, and exclusions. Some of you know that I am a licensed Life/Health agent and understand the inner workings of this industry. I got my license primarily to protect myself and my loved ones from living uninformed lives, to put it nicely. To “keep it real with you” I did it so we would not get caught up in this big money game where my life was being gambled with.   

Having employer-sponsored insurance is “golden”, and you get comfortable with this luxury. Trust me, having independent insurance as a self-employed individual gradually kicks my rear more dead-center each year as I get older. Once I hit 30 my premiums skyrocketed. The insurance companies figure that a woman’s reproductive needs increase and they start hitting deep in our pockets. My options, lower my coverage- excluding maternity needs and other services- taking into consideration I’m single and the freeway and road signs don’t show “marriage” coming up anytime soon.

This saves me about $100-$150 monthly. Can you imagine what my costs will be in years to come?

When you become unemployed, whether voluntarily or involuntarily there is a growing concern for your health care needs. So you’re out of work, in need of insurance and who comes to your rescue? COBRA Health Insurance. I’m trying to bite my tongue, cheek, anything to not go on a five minute blast-fest concerning COBRA.

Many people opt for COBRA out of fear. Fear of being rejected by another insurance carrier for pre-existing conditions, fear of the unknown, and fear of having to go through the process of interviewing insurance agencies until you find the one that meets your needs. The last thing you need is to go from employer-based insurance with a customary $5.00-$40.00 co-pay (not really feeling the associated cost of monthly premiums deducted from your paycheck) to then paying $400-2,000 monthly depending on family size and needs, and having to deal with mountains of paperwork- which you don’t understand, and being shuffled around like cattle.

Let me share something with you…even COBRA knows they are beyond expensive, so what have they done to help the American people find a way to afford insurance? Well it’s definitely not a case of reducing their passed on costs to you, but they are trying to help. COBRA Health Coverage has set up a website (cobrahealthcoverage.com) in order to help you find alternative insurance options for you and your family. After completing a questionnaire, you submit your information to request a quote. They have formed an alliance with several reputable insurance companies. I have excluded their information so not to appear to endorse any or all of them. You have to make an informed decision on your own, According to COBRA Health Coverage Alternatives these agencies can potentially provide insurance coverage to you for as low as $166.00 per month or less. You can choose from PPO, HDHPs, HSAs, as well as other services that fit your needs. 
Something else the COBRA Health Coverage Alternatives provide are options not only for the unemployed, but also for part-time workers, the uninsured, or for freelancers.

I share this out of concern for those of you who would rather give in to accepting COBRA and possibly bankrupting your family (or finding yourself without insurance after months of struggling to pay COBRA only to lose it) because you don’t want to take the time to find other suitable alternatives. You can only keep your coverage for an average of 18 months and then what will you and your family do? Understand something, you’re not given a 24-hour window to find new insurance once you become unemployed or underemployed. You usually have a minimum of 20-30 days to proceed with COBRA or seek new coverage.

Take some time to do some research…heck, no offense but you have plenty of time on your hands now…or will soon enough! Look online and go to websites that allow you to compare several insurance agencies and their services at one time. Take notes, write down any questions and concerns that you may have, and then if the agents have not already began ringing your phone off the hook, place a few calls and take one step towards educating yourself…it can save you thousands each year…and free up that money to go towards other expenses or investments!

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved; excluding displayed images.