Obamacare Deadline Is Approaching

ObamacareUnder Obamacare, by March 31, every person in the Unites States is required by law to have health coverage or risk paying a fine. The Obamacare deadline is approaching and those that are not covered need to attain a clear insight of this sweeping law that is going to change the face of the healthcare industry. This unprecedented law known as the Affordable Care Act makes it possible for millions of low-income Americans to get insurance that otherwise would not have access due to financial constraints. Obamacare is designed to eradicate the barriers of health coverage by mandating lower premiums, eliminate being denied coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions and alleviate businesses from shifting employees to part-time status due to the burden of high employee health insurance rates. If a person already has health insurance coverage via private policies then they already meet the law’s requirement and for Medicaid and Medicare recipients their rates will remain unchanged. The Affordable Care Act is supposed to solve the many problems that have plagued healthcare prior to the law.

If a person does not have health coverage at the moment, they are able to go to the state or federal insurance marketplace to determine which plan is best suited for their healthcare needs. If a person falls into the low-income category they will qualify for Medicaid by expansion programs implemented by half of the states. Since October, 4 million people have signed up for health coverage via Healthcare.gov despite the website glitches and fervent bipartisan boycotts by many Republicans. President Obama is executing an aggressive campaign to get everyone signed up before the big Obamacare deadline approaches. The administration, medical associations, insurers and volunteers are organizing events to facilitate the enrollment process. The goal is to reach as many uninsured Americans for enrollment before March 31. A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that 75 percent of uninsured Americans were not aware of the March 31 deadline.

Even with a nationwide crusade for mass enrollment, the administration is aware that not every American will have coverage by March 31, the number is estimated to be in the tens of millions. There are a variety of reasons why some will miss the deadline; some will not have any knowledge of the deadline, some are without any health ailments and do not consider health coverage a priority and some refuse to enroll because they are politically opposed to Obamacare. Then there the millions of illegal immigrants who will not qualify and there will be some that will not pay for their premiums. It is mandated that those who do not purchase insurance will have to list it on their income tax returns and will pay a fine of $95 or 1 percent, whichever amount is greater.

Obamacare will not subject everyone under penalty that fail to obtain health coverage. Low-income workers will only qualify in states that have chosen to increase their Medicaid programs and the low-income workers that live in states that have declined to expand their Medicaid programs will not be covered under Obamacare due to their extreme poverty. Others that will be exempt from the law will be immigrants, prisoners, American Indians and those with religious beliefs that counter the mandate. With the Obamacare deadline approaching by the end of the month those who fail to enroll will not get health coverage if they encounter any medical problems, they will have to wait until the next enrollment on November 15.

By Isriya Kendrick

ABC News

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