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article imageAffordable Care Act: Marketplace open enrollment on October 1st

By Jacki Viles     Sep 29, 2013 in Health
Atlanta - The Health Insurance Marketplace website is open for business. This site is the government sponsored website for getting information and signing up for health insurance as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
Marketplace offers one-stop shopping for information and cost comparisons. It is also the place to apply for health coverage. Applications will be accepted starting October 1st. Open enrollment runs through March 31, 2014 with coverage to begin on January 1, 2014.
Individuals and families who have no access to the Internet can call the newly established call center at 1-800-318-2596. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For most Americans this site will be the main site to apply for coverage. Certain states listed below have their own portals and you will be directed there for information applicable to your state.
California
Colorado
Connecticut
District of Columbia
Hawaii
Idaho
Kentucky
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Nevada
New Mexico
New York
Oregon
Rhode Island
Vermont
Washington
Pricing and plan details will be available online on October 1st. If you are without health coverage currently the site is designed to help you define which options are right for you and your family.
A large part of the Affordable Care Act addresses the millions of Americans who cannot afford coverage. Middle-income people under age 65 who do not have employer sponsored health care coverage and do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare can apply for tax credit subsidies to offset the cost of the new healthcare mandate.
Those Americans who choose not to accept mandated health care coverage will be charged an “individual shared responsibility payment.” This fee will be a line item on your tax return for 2014. The fee is 1 percent of your yearly income or $95, whichever is higher, plus an additional $47.50 per uninsured child. The fee structure goes up every year. This is a punitive fee. It does not provide any coverage in arrears. You still must obtain health care coverage unless you have been approved for an exemption.
Typical exemption reasons would be if you were incarcerated, have had a lapse in coverage for not more than three months in the year or you are a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to insurance, including Social Security and Medicare.
There are sweeping changes and new requirements for small business too. The Health Insurance Marketplace also offers options for small business owners here. The call center phone number for those without Internet access is 1-800-706-7893. They are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More about Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, Open Enrollment, Us government
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