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March 4, 2014

March 31 deadline for health insurance mandate

THOMASVILLE — There is still time to sign up for health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace and not pay a penalty. The last day to enroll in coverage is March 31.

The Affordable Care Act requires that most Americans obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, called the individual mandate. The penalty for 2014 is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, up to $285, or one percent of the household income, whichever number is greater. This penalty will be applied to your annual taxable income for each month that you and your family do not have health insurance after March 31.

Based on household income and dependents, you may be eligible for health insurance coverage at no cost through Medicaid. Or, you may be eligible for subsidized health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

“This is where the University of Georgia can help the uninsured in our community,” said Joan Koonce, Family and Consumer Sciences family financial planning specialist. “With many people lacking access to a computer or needing assistance navigating healthcare.gov, UGA Navigators can help. We can assist individuals and their families view available health plans and determine if they’re eligible for subsidized health coverage or other insurance options. “

UGA navigators are available at convenient times, including evenings and weekends, and provide no-cost services that include: in-person application assistance, education on types of health coverage, information about premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, and assistance with grievances, penalty exemptions and/or appeals.

To enroll in coverage, contact Kim Wyche, Thomas County UGA navigator, at the Thomas County Extension Office, (229) 225 4130 or 706-424-7881, or at kimwyche@uga.edu.

For general information on the UGA Health Navigator program, call 1-877-7NAVIGATE (1-877-762-8442) or visit uganavigators.org.

 

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