Just a week before the deadline, the push is on to sign up for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. There are a number of reasons people are waiting, but not having healthcare coverage when you need it because you don’t think you can afford it, isn’t a good reason to let the deadline pass.
The reasons people haven’t enrolled are theirs alone, but the necessity for enrollment is what is important. If you haven’t enrolled yet, you aren’t getting access to the healthcare you need. Those who haven’t enrolled seem to be younger people, who don’t get sick as often, and who may not think they need healthcare coverage for that reason. That’s only partly true. Young people still have catastrophic illnesses, accidents and need hospitalization. I know I’ve heard from my own kids and friends children, “That will never happen,” but it does. A check of the daily newspaper will let you know that crashes happen often and they are unpredictable.
The possibility of an illness or accident isn’t the only reason you need to sign up for healthcare. If you can afford healthcare and it isn’t provided by your employer; you will be penalized. It may not seem like a lot this year, to have to pay the greater of $95 or one percent of your income for individuals, or $285 or one percent of your household adjusted gross income, but that cost will go up over the next two years. In 2016 the penalty for not purchasing healthcare rises to $695 or 2.5 percent of your adjusted gross income for individuals, and 2,085 or 2.5 percent of your household adjusted gross income for families.
If you don’t feel you have the income to pay for your own healthcare, contact an AC Financial adviser to talk about your options. I was glad I did. After enrolling on the www.healthcare.gov website and having a difficult time with the results I received, I called 800-564-3136 and found out what I qualified for. It was the best phone call I could have made.