South Bend Insurance is quickly changing in the health care arena. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that all residents buy health insurance coverage before March 31, 2014 to avoid tax penalties.
While media outlets discuss political party positions, and issues about the website and coverage, residents just want to know that they have coverage or will be able to purchase it before the deadline.
South Bend Insurance Qualifications
In order to avoid tax penalties related to being uninsured, all Indiana residents must buy health care coverage or file an exemption, if they qualify.
If you presently have health insurance coverage, either as an individual or through your employer, then you can expect changes to happen to your policy. Insurance companies must change their existing policies to conform to ACA requirements for coverage. This means that some policies may cancel while others significantly alter benefits and pricing.
People with government benefits through Medicare or Medicaid as well as those with military TRICARE or veteran's health plans are already in compliance with federal law.
Those South Bend residents without any insurance whatsoever are most affected by Obamacare. They must buy coverage through the federal exchange at HealthCare.gov. Indiana is one of the states that does not run its own exchange. Ideally, coverage should be purchased by December 1 in order to be in effect by January 1, 2014; however, the government extended the deadline for avoiding penalties to March 31, 2014.
Exemptions from Obamacare
Certain groups of uninsured people may file exemptions from the requirement to buy health insurance. The following are exempt from Obamacare:
- Prisoners in federal and state facilities
- Members of religious groups opposed to health insurance
- Illegal immigrants
- Indian tribe members
- Residents with serious financial hardship – eviction, homeless, medical emergency, etc.
Anyone eligible for exemption must file with federal health authorities; however, most cannot be claimed until time to file taxes.
Important Facts to Consider
Expanded Medicaid makes many people now eligible for benefits based on family size and income. For others, the federal government offers subsidies or tax credits to help Indiana residents offset the costs of health care insurance. If eligible for a tax credit, individuals and families cannot buy insurance from a private insurance company. They must purchase health coverage only through the federal exchange to receive the credit. Additionally, any employees of companies that offer South Bend insurance coverage may not receive the subsidy even if they qualify based on all other criteria.