Unsure if you can afford health insurance under the Affordable care Act?
Your not alone!
In Arizona 1 in 3 people live in poverty according to the latest US Census figures. In fact Arizona ranks number 2 in the nation in terms of poverty (see report: 1 in 3 Arizonans live in Poverty.
Most of these individuals live in Maricopa County, Arizona in and around the Phoenix area. They have real concerns about insurance affordability.
The Affordable Care Act requires that most people be covered by health insurance or pay a penalty. Anyone who was not covered in 2014 will have to pay the penalty when they file income taxes next April 2015.
Electing not buy insurance by Feb. 15 could result in a greater penalty the following April — $325 per person or $975 for a family, or 2 percent of the annual household income above the tax filing threshold, whichever is greater.
Not covered by an employer and befuddled by online enrollment in the marketplace?
A Marketplace navigator can help.
The Affordable Care Act requires state health insurance marketplaces to establish a “navigator” program (Section 1311(i)) that will help individuals who are eligible to purchase coverage through a health insurance marketplace learn about their new coverage options and enroll. States can award grants to entities that will provide these services.
Under current law, navigators have the following five duties:
- To conduct public education about the availability of qualified health plans.
- To distribute fair, impartial information about enrollment in qualified plans and about the availability of premium tax credits and cost-sharing assistance in the exchange.
- To facilitate enrollment in qualified plans.
- To refer people who need help resolving a problem with their health plan or with their premium assistance to a consumer assistance or ombudsman program or to another appropriate agency that can help with a grievance or appeal.
- To provide information in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner to the population being served by an exchange.
Navigators receive about 20 hours of online training about protecting an individual’s personal information, a crash course in health insurance terminology, how to find the marketplace and use the website..etc.
The process takes a couple of hours, she said. An individual needs to bring several things to the meeting:
* Names, birthdates and Social Security numbers for everyone in the household
*Projected household income
* Tax information, such as filing status and number of dependents. If employed, the employer’s identification number (available on the last W-2 form) will be needed.
To find out more about Insurance marketplace navigators in your area see website https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/navigator/ click on “Find Local help.”
Need non-English language support? Try searching for all organizations in your ZIP code and contact them directly. Sometimes organizations have language help available even if they didn’t list that service here.
Consumers can also call 1‑800‑318‑2596 to get personal assistance and help in languages other than English.