February 4, 2015 4:05 p.m.

[The information in this article comes from Carl Judd carljudd@live.com, North Florida Regional Manager, JMA Insurance Professionals and the website http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/access-florida-food-medical-assistance-cash/affordable-care-act.  The Fernandina Observer is not endorsing any plan or any agent, but reminds our readers that there is a deadline with significant tax penalties approaching for failing to act by February 15, 2015.–Suanne Thamm] 

graphic courtesy  www.katzbosch.com
graphic courtesy
www.katzbosch.com

The sign-up deadline for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) is looming. If you are eligible and have not signed up for a qualified health care plan by February 15, 2015, you could be looking at significant problems. This will be the last opportunity to sign up for coverage in 2015. Consumers without credible coverage will face tax penalties.

If you don’t have coverage in 2015, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:

  • 2% of your yearly household income.(Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a bronze plan.
  • $325 per person for the year ($162.50 per child under 18).The maximum penalty per family using this method is $975.

If you didn’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts when you file your 2014 federal tax return:

  • 1% of your yearly household income.(Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a bronze plan.
  • $95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18).The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.

The penalty increases every year. In 2016 it will be 2.5% of income or $695 per person. After that, it will be adjusted for inflation.While there are many ways for Florida residents to seek out information on the various health care plans offered by ACA, Carl Judd carljudd@live.com, North Florida Regional Manager, JMA Insurance Professionals, has advised the Fernandina Observer that there will be an enrollment rally from February 9th – February 15th with enrollment specialists who can assist with:

– Enrollment questions

– Cost assistance and subsidies

– Tax credits

– Plan changes

– Medicaid assistance

– Medicare assistance

The Designated Healthcare Signup Locations will be in the following areas:

  • Orange Park Mall (Inside, in the seating area in front of J.C. Penny)
  • The Avenues Mall (Inside, in the seating area in front of Forever 21)

Mall hours are 10a.m.-9p.m Monday-Saturday and 12p.m.-6p.m. on Sunday

Documents needed for enrollment may include:

  • State ID (ie. Driver’s License)
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of residency

Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the law requires all Americans to obtain health care coverage through an employer, an individual health plan or programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Program (Florida KidCare) unless they meet an exemption. Individuals, who do not meet an exemption and fail to obtain coverage, may be subject to a tax assessment.

On Oct. 1, 2013, the federal government opened the Marketplace where individuals can compare and shop for health care coverage. Each year an open enrollment period will take place for individuals who are seeking Marketplace coverage. Medicaid and Florida KidCare enrollment takes place year-round. If a person applies at the Marketplace and is found potentially eligible for Medicaid or Florida KidCare, their application will be sent to the appropriate agency for processing. The ACA also provides cost sharing and tax credits to assist low-income qualified individuals in purchasing health insurance through the Marketplace.

Changes to Medicaid Eligibility

The ACA made significant changes to the eligibility criteria for Family Related Medicaid groups and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP – commonly referred to as KidCare). On Jan. 1, 2014, the new rules for Medicaid and KidCare eligibility went into effect. Eligibility is based on IRS rules governing an individual’s tax household and income.

In Florida, an individual must be a child, the parent or caretaker of a child, pregnant, aged, blind,disabled or a young adult under age 26 who aged out of the foster care system to be eligible for Medicaid.

More Information

  • Individuals seeking more information about services offered through the Marketplace may contact the Federal Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, Deaf and Hard of Hearing TTY 1-855-889-4325, or go to gov
  • To apply for Florida Medicaid, visit myflorida.com/accessflorida
  • To apply for Florida KidCare, visit healthykids.org/apply/

Department of Financial Services’ consumer web page on health insurance reform: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/consumers/HealthReform.htm#.Ul7y8hCQOCI

 

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