Uninsured required to have health insurance by March 31
Everyone is required to have health insurance by March 31, 2014, as part of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).
More than 1.2 million uninsured Pennsylvanians are eligible for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (healthcare.gov).
The ACA can be confusing and choosing the right health insurance plan can be a daunting task.
That's why Transforming Health and WellSpan have partnered to create an online tool—Getting Covered: The Affordable Health Care Act in Pa (www.witf.org).
This multimedia guide is designed to help the uninsured assess their health care needs before shopping for a plan. Getting Covered simplifies insurance and how it works.
The guide also helps shoppers understand their health insurance benefits and shows how to make the most of the plans.
Getting Covered online topics include ACA Basics, Prepare to Shop, Assessing Your Options, Costs and Navigating the Marketplace. Open enrollment ends on March 31.
This is the last day you can buy insurance in order to be covered in 2014. You must enroll by this date in order to avoid the penalty for not having coverage. The penalty is $95 or one percent of your income—whichever is higher.
The fine is set to grow in the future. This penalty will be deducted from whatever refund you are owed when you complete your 2014 taxes in April 2015.
When open enrollment ends, you will not be eligible for coverage until the next open enrollment period which is Nov. 15, 2014 through Jan. 15, 2015.
The goal of the ACA is to implement a set of comprehensive health reforms aimed at driving down the number of Americans without health insurance, improving health outcomes and cutting health care costs.
Additional features of the ACA include:
- Prohibits gender discrimination
- Eliminates lifetime annual limits
- Mandates plans include 10 essential medical benefits, such as free preventive care
- Expands access to quality, affordable health insurance plans
If you know any individuals who are uninsured, share this information with them and encourage them to select a health insurance plan by March 31.