Monday, May 26, 2014


  1. YOU NOW OWE A FINE. If you missed the deadline for open enrollment you can no longer apply for discounted healthcare. Ergo, when you go to pay this years taxes you will be hit with a fine equaling a minimum of $95 or 1% of your income, whichever is greater.
  2. YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR AN EXEMPTION FROM THIS FINE. Exemptions include financial hardships such as homelessness, disasters, having your utilities cut off, etc. OR if you were determined ineligible for healthcare assistance because your state did not expand medicaid coverage to include the Affordable Care Act. Half the states in America did not approve Medicaid expansion.
  3. YOU MUST APPLY FOR AN EXEMPTION. There are currently no automatic exemptions from this fine. Contact the resources listed in this article asap as you may only have a limited time to apply.
  4. THE UNEMPLOYED/HOMELESS NEED NOT APPLY. Unless you have conditions that already qualify you for your states medicaid program (such as disability, elderly, children) you are not eligible for government insurance coverage.
  5. TAX REBATES SHOULD HELP PAY FOR YOUR INSURANCE. This seems to be a little known fact that has escaped the notice of even those who were paying attention.  Despite the fact that many states denied medicaid expansion, you are still eligible for “premium tax rebates” that can cover all or part of your healthcare costs.  If your income is up to 4X the poverty level ($10,150 for a single person, less per person for families) you are eligible for assistance.  These rebates can be applied directly to your monthly payments or you can pay the full cost and recoup your losses at the end of the year when you pay your taxes. If your income should increase during the year (and the government pays more in rebates than it should have) then you will likely owe the difference when you pay your taxes. If you do not make enough money to pay taxes, but you have some kind of income, no matter how small, you are still eligible for rebates.
  6. PRICES VARY. The percentage you are expected to pay is dependent upon two things. One is your income and the other is based upon the lowest priced silver plan available in your area. Even so you may opt to choose a higher or lower priced plan, whereby you will pay more or less accordingly. Some plans may be available to you for free, but in some cases such plans may be less desirable catastrophic plans that only kick in only after you have paid significant medical bills. Still, such a plan could come in very handy in case of a true and costly  medical emergency.
  7. YOU MAY NEED A HEALTHCARE NEGOTIATOR. The ACA is complex with many and varied rules. While one can apply online at, you may be better served by a healthcare Negotiator . Look online for one near you.
  8. YOU CAN APPLY AGAIN THIS FALL. Open Enrollment begins on November 15th and runs through February 15th 2015 for the general public. However, enrollment in medicaid for the elderly and disabled is available throughout the year along with the Children's Health Insurance Program (aka CHIP). Contact your State's Medicaid /DCF (department of children and families)/or  Access program.
  9. NEXT YEAR FINES WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER.  This fall, once open enrollment begins,you will definitely want to apply before the deadline  because next years fines will be a minimum of $695 per person.
  10. FURTHER INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ONLINE.  Simply go to or contact a healthcare Negotiator in your area.
Todays Lesson:  "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."  Thomas A. Edison

copyright Linda Matthews 5/26/2014