According to the new Affordable Care Act, everyone in the United States is going to be required to be insured through either employment, privately, public programs such as Medicare, Medicaid or the VA or through the new health insurance exchanges created for the Affordable Care Act. If citizens do not get insured by the Affordable Care Act deadline, they will have to pay the federal government a tax penalty.
The only problem is, nobody is clear about when the deadlines are. Many dates have been thrown around and different delays keep on persisting. So how can citizens tell the difference between deadlines and the hard deadlines?
With the technical difficulties visitors run into on the HealthCare.gov along with the individual state health exchanges, figuring out these deadlines has become a common and confused topic.
The federal government has acknowledged the confusion but seems to only provide vague answers creating more confusion. Jay Carney, a White House spokesman, talked about the disconnect between the Affordable Care Act deadline dates. He mentioned when people were going to be allowed to enroll in one of the market place insurance exchange plans and when the penalties for the Affordable Care Act dealing would take effect.
Julie Bataille, a Health and Human Services spokeswomen, also discusses these date issues and the March 31 deadline confusion by giving the response, “We are working on it and will have something soon.”
For those of you who are struggling to understand when the Affordable Care Act deadline really is, NPR has provided a little cheat sheet to help you see when you are safe to enroll without receiving any penalties.
At first, the Affordable Care Act deadline was announced to be January 1, 2014. This would mean if you did not have insurance your work, public program or private provider, you would have to enroll in one of the online market places by Dec. 14, 2013 for coverage to start by January 1, 2014.
But then the IRS changed the rules saying that citizens would be allowed a “short gap” in their coverage before they had to pay the tax penalty. A short gap was defined as lasting less than three months.
Many thought that this meant they could wait until March 31 to get insured because their coverage would take effect on May 1, but there is a bit of a lag and that is more then the “less than” three months and so they would have to pay a tax penalty for April.
Even enrolling on March 15 would incur a penalty because the IRS considers April 1 more than three months as well. So after all of the technical measurement, it was concluded that if uninsured citizens were to sign up by February 15, they would have coverage by March 1 which would help them avoid any tax penalties from the Affordable Care Act deadline.
You must be logged in to post a comment.