Find Help to Meet the March 31 Health Insurance Deadline
March 31, 2014, is the deadline for uninsured people to obtain health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
However, that health insurance deadline is flexible if you are in the process of enrolling. “If people encounter problems completing applications over the next few days, they will be able to claim some extra time to apply next month,” officials told the Washington Post.
There are two federally trained navigators in Fredericksburg to help residents review Health Insurance Marketplace plans and their costs. They are:
Heather Trascapoulos, whose office is in Patient Access in the atrium of Mary Washington Hospital, 1001 Sam Perry Blvd., in Fredericksburg. Her telephone number is 540-741-2541.
Bill Botts, who works for ENROLL Virginia at 500 Lafayette Blvd., Suite 140 in Fredericksburg. As of Thursday afternoon, March 27, Mr. Botts reported his schedule is filled with clients through March 31. He suggests those seeking assistance call 1-800-318-2596.
The following is A One Page Guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace, reprinted from HealthCare.gov.
Follow the links for more information on each topic.
“The Health Insurance Marketplace helps uninsured people find health coverage. Fill out the Marketplace application and we’ll tell you if you qualify for:
Private health insurance. Plans cover essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions, and preventive care.
Lower costs based on your household size and income. You can preview plans available in your area right now, with prices based on your income and household size. Most people who apply will qualify for lower costs.
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These programs cover millions of families with limited income. If it looks like you qualify, we’ll share information with your state agency and they’ll contact you. Many but not all states are expanding Medicaid in 2014 to cover more people. Find out what Medicaid expansion means for you.
Most people must have health coverage in 2014 or pay a penalty. If you don’t have coverage, you’ll pay a fee of either 1% of your income, or $95 per adult ($47.50 per child), whichever is higher. You’ll pay the fee on your 2015 income taxes.
Marketplace open enrollment ends March 31, 2014. The open enrollment period for 2015 coverage is from November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.
If you don’t enroll by March 31, 2014, you can’t get private health insurance inside the Marketplace until the next open enrollment period starts. If you’re uninsured you may be subject to the fee for all of 2014. You can buy a health plan outside Open Enrollment if you qualify for a special enrollment period.
Most people are eligible to use the Marketplace. Learn more about immigration status and eligibility.
Ready to apply? Use this checklist to gather items you’ll need when applying for coverage.
Start your application now. Enroll by the 15th of the month and your coverage starts as soon as the 1st of the next month.
Some people qualify for an exemption to the fee, based on income or other factors. If you enroll by March 31, 2014, you won’t have to pay the fee for any month of 2014.
You’re considered covered if you have Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, any job-based plan, any plan you bought yourself, COBRA, retiree coverage, TRICARE, VA health coverage, or some other kinds of health coverage.
If you’re eligible for job-based insurance, you can consider switching to a Marketplace plan. But you won’t qualify for lower costs based on your income unless the job-based insurance isn’t considered affordable or doesn’t meet minimum requirements.
If you have Medicare, you’re considered covered and don’t have to make any changes. If you have Medicare, you can’t use the Marketplace to buy a supplemental plan or dental plan.
Questions? Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)”
Related Story on Fredericksburg.Today:
Self-Employed? Sign Up For 2014 Health Care Coverage By March 31
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