Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Obamacare and Nannies: Sign-Up Time for Obamacare

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act begins October 1, 2013. All uninsured Americans will be required to have insurance coverage as of January 1, 2014. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), provides a new way to buy insurance through a health insurance marketplace so can you easily compare insurance options.

If you have health insurance you don't have to do anything. For example, if you already have private insurance, employer-sponsored insurance, retirement insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, or VA health benefits you don't have to do anything. There is also a hardship exemption available.

If you or your family has no insurance, policies will be available online on health insurance exchange sites on October 1, 2013.

To apply call by phone after October 1, 2013 (800) 318-2596 or visit www.healthcare.gov or check your local government to see where you can apply in-person.

The cost of a policy will vary depending on the age of the applicant, the area in which you live, the number of members in the family and whether the applicant uses tobacco.

If you don't have health insurance coverage and make more than $10,000 per year starting on January 2014, you will be subject to a penalty. The penalty is $95/adult, $47.50/child up to $285/family or 1% of income, whichever is greater. The penalties are assessed by the IRS when income tax is filed. Congress provided the IRS with no other enforcement capabilities.

For the estimated 90-percent of nannies that don't pay taxes, government subsidized insurance may not be unavailable to them but they may be able to apply for Medicaid.

As you can see, the premium on a policy is subject to many variables. Our guess from the information available currently, a single nanny making $30,000/year will pay $175 to $210 per month for a basic policy. This is a rough estimate from what we have found so far. The premiums will vary by state. You will need to check your own state web sites. Open enrollment starts October 1, 2013 and enforcement begins January 1, 2014.

More information will be available about the policies available in your state for national pharmacy chains, media and online sites. We urge you to scrutinize your choices as insurance is obviously a more prudent choice than uncertainty and debt.

Obamacare is partly a national program and partly a state and regional program. States with Republican Governors may not have expanded Medicaid and will not offer expanded benefits to the poor.

In most states, emergency room care cannot be denied regardless of insurance coverage. However, a lifetime of debt or bad credit is possible if nannies have a catastrophic illness or injury and don't have health insurance coverage.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am a nanny and the purpose of this message is to provide information I have found online in the references below. Please consult a tax professional and health care administrator for specific information.

References: healthcare.gov

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