Jodie from Organizing for Action (OFA) called to say a group of volunteers plans to meet in Manhattan this week to encourage people to sign up for health insurance.
She and others in the Obama administration need to work hard this month because it’s crunch-time for Obamacare. The administration’s goal is to get 7 million enrolled in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by March 31st.
In a January call with OFA members, who volunteer to promote his agenda, President Obama said advertising and publicity generated in Washington isn’t enough. He said he’s counting on individuals across the country to connect with their friends and neighbors to remind them about the deadline and urge them to sign up.
So far, more than 4 million have enrolled in Affordable Care Act health insurance plans and most received tax credits that reduce their payments. Beyond the monetary inducement, there’s good reason to get health insurance.
Even if you don’t go to the doctor often, emergencies occur and accidents happen. Getting health insurance is a smart bet, especially when it’s easy to do.
Bugs that derailed Healthcare.gov are fixed and the site is reasonably healthy. You can apply online with relative ease.
TIPS FOR USING HEALTHCARE.GOV
1. Use the best browser for your computer.
2. Clear the history, cookies and cache.
3. Make sure your computer will accept cookies. You’ll get a big pop-up window.
4. You may not be able to use a mobile device. Best to stick with a desktop, or laptop if you can.
IF YOU TRIED TO SIGN UP ONLINE AND COULDN’T
1. Clear your history, cookies and cache.
2. Sign in with a new user name, email and password.
3. If you have a problem this time, check your junk email file for a notice.
DON’T HAVE A COMPUTER?
If you don’t have a computer at home, there is still time to apply on the phone. You can call 1-800-318-2596, or you can call that number and find out about local people in your community who are working with others to navigate the system.
You can also call and ask for help at 1-800-318-2596.
PENALTY FOR NOT GETTING HEALTH INSURANCE
There is negative reinforcement to try to convince you to get health insurance during the open enrollment period that ends March 31st.
Two formulas determine how much you’ll pay. And you’ll pay whichever amount is higher.
1. One percent of your annual household income.
2. $95 for an adult and $47.50 for a child under 18. The maximum family penalty is $285.00
3. You’ll also have to pay your own health care costs until the next open enrollment period.
APPLYING OUTSIDE OF THE OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD
You can only apply outside of the open enrollment period under the these circumstances:
1. You’re getting married.
2. You’re adopting a child or a child is placed in your home.
3. You’re moving to a new area that offers different health plan choices.
4. You’re losing your healthcare coverage after a divorce, because you’ve lost your job, your COBRA is expiring, or you no longer qualify for Medicaid.