As most know by now, I fought to repeal, delay and change the Affordable Care Act. I worked to shield Hoosiers from some of its harshest fines and penalties, but Republican efforts in the House were pushed aside by the Democrat controlled Senate. It is now the law of the land.
In this column I do not intend to debate the merits of the President’s health care law. As your representative in Congress, it is my responsibility to make sure you have the information you need to comply with the law and avoid its fines and penalties. In that spirit, below is a list of the commonly-asked questions I have received about the Affordable Care Act.
When is the deadline to enroll in a health insurance plan and avoid penalties?
The enrollment period started on Oct. 1, 2013, and ends on March 31, 2014. If you fail to enroll in qualified health care coverage by March 31, 2014, you could face fines and penalties. If you are uninsured for more than 90 days in a calendar year, you are subject to a fine of $95 or 1% of your 2014 taxable income. That fine will be assessed in 2015. The penalties and fines increase over the next two years.
Who is required to enroll?
Under the President’s health care law, just about everyone is required to have health insurance. Some of you may have health insurance provided by your employer. If so, you probably do not need to apply for health insurance through the Federal exchange website. If you do not have insurance provided by your employer or through a program like Medicare or Medicaid, you are now required by law to purchase insurance either through the individual marketplace or through the Affordable Care Act exchange. You can contact a local insurance agent to explore your options in the individual marketplace or you can go to www.healthcare.gov and select “Indiana” to see what insurance plans are available to you through the Affordable Care Act exchange.