Under the Affordable Care Act, 2015 is the first year Americans must prove they had qualifying health insurance (or an approved exemption) in 2014 or face a tax penalty on their 2014 taxes. This penalty will be applied to a person’s annual taxable income for each full month of non-coverage.
If currently uninsured, there’s still time to sign up for health insurance and avoid an even higher penalty for 2015. If insurance is not obtained by Feb. 15, the last day of open enrollment, a penalty will be applied to one’s annual taxable income for each full month of non-coverage in 2015. The penalty fee is $325 per adult, $162.50 per child — up to $975 per family or 2 percent of family income, whichever is higher.
Based on household income and dependents, friends and family members may be eligible for health coverage at no cost through Medicaid. Others may be eligible for health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace — and financial assistance toward the cost of premiums may be available from the government.
A person cannot be denied coverage because of a pre-existing health condition. Some of the health benefits on every plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace include:
• preventive care and wellness services
• doctor visits
• prescription drugs
• hospital and emergency department care
• lab services
• chronic disease management
• pediatric services
For information, call Gateway Regional Medical Center at (618) 798-3206.