The Affordable Care Act health insurance program kicked in on Wednesday. National Public Radio(NPR) shared some statistics in November showing that only a quarter of people who are enrolling are using the website, with the remainder using services such as Certified Application Counselors available in Marion through Heart of Florida Health Center(HFHC). HFHC has assisted approximately 2,000 Marion County residents with health insurance enrollment since October 2013, through their enrollment line, hosting 40 events/presentations, and training 16 people to be Certified Application Counselors.
Don’t want to get insurance or can’t afford it? HFHC can also help you apply to have the fee waived so you aren’t charged “1% of your yearly income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher”. So whether you need insurance or don’t want to be charged for not having it, simply dial 2-1-1 to get information about enrollment events, hotlines and websites which are offering assistance.
Heart of Florida is assisting with enrollment until 3/31/14 and they are available to provide presentations to company/agency staff and clients. If you miss the 3/31/14 deadline to enroll, the next enrollment period is 11/15/14-1/15/15 unless you qualify for Special Enrollment.
Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program however, accept enrollment at any time. Florida opted to not expand the Medicaid program. “Even if your state is not expanding Medicaid, you should apply for coverage to see if you qualify. Each state has existing coverage options that could work for you – particularly if you have children, are pregnant, or have a disability.”