Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Letter to the Editor: Affordable care still available for some

on May 02, 2014 10:20 AM

Although the official deadline has passed for obtaining insurance through the Affordable Care Act, you can still enroll under certain circumstances.

First, you can enroll any time during the year if you have a life event such as marriage, divorce, death of an included household member, moving to a new area, loss of other health benefits, etc.

There are also several special enrollment periods for complex cases (go to https://www.healthcare.gov/sep-list/ for a list or call 800-318-2596).

If you think you might qualify for Medicaid or have a child who might qualify for CHIP, you can enroll any time during the year.

Finally, if our current governor, Tom Corbett, can be persuaded to expand Medicaid in our state, thousands more will become eligible for health care. Contact your state representative and senator now and ask them to agree to expand Medicaid in Pennsylvania.

Remember, if you have not purchased insurance by March 31 and you do not qualify for one of the exceptions, you will have to wait until the next enrollment period, which begins Nov. 15, to get covered. You may face a fee for the part of the year in which you were not covered. This fee is equal to 1 percent of your yearly income above the tax filing threshold or $95, whichever is higher. There are some exceptions to the fee; these can be found at https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/.

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of false information distributed by people such as Rush Limbaugh, congressional Republicans and individuals on Fox News.

Instead of voting on a jobs bill, Congress (House of Representatives) has voted 51 times to repeal this insurance despite the fact that a majority of Americans now support it. Over 7 1/2  million have signed up and do not want to give up the benefits they are now getting.

Don’t be so naive as to think you don’t need insurance. All it takes is one careless and/or drunk driver to run into you and all of a sudden, you need health care, possibly costing thousands of dollars. Someone has to pay for that care. Don’t risk losing all you have because of devastating medical bills.

Kathy Oliver

Indiana

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