Those who qualify can still enroll in Medicaid — there’s no deadline. Eligibility is based on income and varies from state to state. About half the states expanded their Medicaid programs. The main beneficiaries of the change are adults earning up to about $16,100 per year, with no children living at home. Previously, Medicaid was limited mostly to poor children and their parents and people with disabilities
4. BUY INSURANCE OUTSIDE THE MARKETPLACES
Buyers can always go directly to an insurance company, but it may be expensive. Plans bought outside the marketplaces don’t come with government subsidies that hold down the cost for people with low or mid-level incomes. But they do include the law’s consumer protections. For example, insurers can’t turn down customers because of pre-existing medical conditions.
Even after the deadline, buying a plan that meets the law’s essential coverage standard reduces the penalty owed, which is based on the number of months without coverage.
The fine for going uninsured all year is the greater of two formulas: about 1 percent of household income above the tax-filing threshold of $10,150 or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child under 18, up to $285 per family. It’s due to the IRS in April 2015.
5. GET READY FOR NEXT TIME
Open enrollment for 2015 is coming later this year. It’s scheduled to begin Nov. 15 and run just three months. That’s another chance to get covered or switch into a plan with subsidies.
Supporters of the law are calling on President Barack Obama to make things easier next time around.
The advocacy group Families USA suggested a bunch of improvements Tuesday, including more face-to-face sign-ups, coordinating enrollment with tax-filing season so people better understand the fines, and improving coordination with Medicaid programs.
Something to think about: The uninsured penalty next year rises to 2 percent of income or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child.
REGISTER NOW for the 2014 Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion taking place August 28- September 1, 2014 in Orlando, Florida! For booking information visit here.