Community organizations help individuals, small businesses sign up for Obamacare
Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:49
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:46
By Daniel Wheaton, Nebraska News Service / Like it or not, implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law is set to start next month.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was signed into law on March 23, 2010. With many of its mandates already in place, many more – including the individual mandate – will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
Next year, individuals must have some form of health insurance or face a fine of at least $95 or up to 1 percent of their taxable income.
Employers with more than 50 full-time employees must provide health insurance or face fines of $4,000 per employee.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 13 percent of Nebraskans don’t have health insurance. The open enrollment date is set for Oct. 1, with coverage starting on Jan. 1.
The law also creates health insurance marketplaces, which are websites that allow you to easily compare different plans.
Four Nebraska insurance companies have said they will offer packages through the marketplace: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska; Coventry Health Care; CoOportunity Health and Health Alliance Midwest.
“There’s been a lot of buzz around the Affordable Care Act, both good and bad,” said Amber Hansen, community relations specialist at Community Health Action of Nebraska. “One of our goals is to help people understand that the process is not frightening, it’s actually quite simple.”
People who are already insured do not need to sign up through the new marketplaces. However, individuals may still shop around for the deal that is the most economical for them using these tools.
For the full story, pick up the September 25 West Point News, or call 372-2461 to subscribe.