A recent article by Associated Press journalist Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar outlined the Affordable Care Act and how it affects Americans moving into 2015. This article appeared on the PBS website (click here to read).
News articles are noting something that people should be aware of: Tax season is here, and people are finding out they might owe a penalty on their income tax if they do not have health insurance.
Bay Health Plan is working in partnership with many health care agencies and professionals in our community to help people get covered. Our goal is to serve as a trusted source of information in the community for enrollment into health care.
Skilled professional staff are available in our community who can provide free help so people can find an affordable insurance plan that meets their needs or address questions they may have. We’re also helping people who meet criteria sign up for Medicaid under the Healthy Michigan program. To date, we have helped thousands of people purchase insurance through the exchange or sign up for Medicaid.
All of this is important because our combined efforts are helping more of our neighbors, friends and family members get access to quality health care. Patients who once lacked access to life-saving treatments can now get it. Young people just starting to look for work can stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26. Patients with pre-existing conditions can no longer be turned away.
With more people insured, the cost burden for the rest of us is steadily being contained. With an emphasis on preventive treatment, more people will stay healthier, avoiding exorbitant emergency room costs. As we reduce healthcare costs, we are building healthier communities together.
In 2015, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may have a noticeable impact on some of us as we file our taxes.
More than 232,000 Michiganders who enrolled for health insurance through the exchange in 2014, or 87 percent of all new enrollees, received some financial assistance on their premiums. Michiganders who work part-time or work in minimum wage jobs may have little to no out-of-pocket costs through Healthy Michigan. Bay Health Plan may provide you basic health care coverage if you don’t qualify for any of these programs.
Unfortunately, we still hear from some people who may have read headlines suggesting that coverage is unaffordable. Some of these folks think it’s better to pay the penalty – and they’ll learn just how big when they file their taxes this year.
The penalty that people without insurance will have to pay in 2015 will be significantly higher than the $95 or 1 percent of income the year before. We are already hearing of uninsured people who have to pay around $300 or more in fines – when they may potentially be able to get insurance for that same amount of money, even less.
Certified Application Counselors are available in our community to assist. People with questions should call their county health plan at 1-844-232-7740.
People can also get estimates of what they’ll pay for insurance and know their subsidies at http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/
Get covered, get healthcare, and avoid the penalty.