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Penalties coming for those without insurance

Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 |
 Penalties coming for those without insurance story image
NEWSCHANNEL 3 – Even though the government shut down Monday night, a key part of the Affordable Care Act still begins Tuesday.

Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace runs October 1st through March 31st.

Most people do not have to do anything at all during this period.  If you have health insurance through your employer, if you're on Medicaid or Medicare, you are already covered.
However, if you are uninsured, have been denied coverage in the past or just want to shop around for new options, you should log on to the Marketplace.

In the Marketplace, you may be able to get lower costs on monthly premiums, depending on your family income and size.  You’ll be able to see just how much you can save when you fill out your Marketplace application.
Remember: you are required to have health coverage by this coming January or you will face fines.
There are some exemptions to that rule (“hardship exemptions”) like being homeless, being evicted or filing for bankruptcy.

You may also qualify for an exemption if you're uninsured for less than 3 months of the year or you don't have to file a tax return because your income is too low.
The fee in 2014 for an adult who can afford health insurance but chooses to remain uninsured is one-percent of your yearly income or 95-dollars per person for the year, whichever is higher.   
That fee increases every year.
For uninsured children, the fee is nearly 48-dollars per child.
The most a family would have to pay for all of their kids is 285-dollars.

Again, open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace begins Tuesday.

If you are still confused about your options, there are health care navigators here in West Michigan who are trained to answer your questions about enrolling.  Click here for more information: http://wwmt.com/news/features/hcn/.

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