12 On Your Side: Are you exempt from the Affordable Care Act?

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email


News 12 at 6 o'clock / September 30, 2013

"There's a lot that's being said right now about enrolling in the exchanges, enrolling in the marketplaces," says Russell Head with Group and Benefits Consultants in Augusta.

With enrollment in the Affordable Care Act just hours away, many folks are still unsure about who needs to sign up and who is exempt from the individual mandate. "People that have access to Medicaid, people that have access to Chip plan, people that have access to Tricare, Medicare, Medicaid," says Head.

Also if you already have insurance through your job or participate in a veterans health program you do not have to sign up for national heath coverage. "Those people already on government programs or need to be on government programs, those people are not going to enroll on to the federal marketplace," says Head.

Others who are exempt include: the incarcerated, members of Indian tribes, undocumented immigrants, members of religions opposed to participation in health insurance and those whose income is so low they do no have to file income tax. "That's just for people who do not have access to affordable minimum coverage," says Head.

So if you are self-employed or your employer does not provide health insurance, you will now be required to have health coverage through the marketplace with enrollment starting at midnight. "It'll be one of those all nighters and that's ok, that's good because we need to be able to educate and inform our clients," says Head.

Head says with so many folks logging on at midnight it could actually crash some healthcare exchange websites. Meanwhile despite a possible government shutdown officials say the Affordable Care Act will remain open for business.

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