Willis Report: Affordable Care Act - Fox 2 News Headlines

The Willis Report

Willis Report: Affordable Care Act

Posted: Updated:

New Obamacare health insurance exchanges open Tuesday, Oct. 1. This is the first time that individuals will be able to sign up for health insurance offered under the controversial Affordable Care Act. Opening of the exchanges marks the starting gun for the law's implementation, which is the biggest overhaul of the nation's health care system since Medicare in 1966. The devil will definitely be in the details -- and there are a lot of them -- and none has been more controversial than the individual mandate.

Wednesday night on The Willis Report on the Fox Business Network we'll be talking about the mandate and what it means to you. The government is requiring individuals to have health care coverage. And the requirement extends to you and everyone in your household, including spouses and dependents. The coverage can be issued by your employer, through federal programs like Medicare, Medicaid, CHIPS and the Veterans Administration, or it can be purchased through private networks. Failing those options, individuals are required to buy coverage through the Obamacare exchanges opening Oct. 1. Individuals must be able to prove coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

The laws' authors are hopeful that premiums from young people who comprise the largest numbers of the uncovered will help pay for older Americans who don't have coverage. Despite all that attention to the mandate, 26 percent of Americans aren't aware of the requirement or didn't think the law included it, according to a March 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

There are penalties for failing to comply. If you do not have the minimum level of coverage and do not qualify for an exemption, you must pay a penalty to the IRS at the end of the tax year. The penalty for the first year is up to $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, or 1 percent of family income, whichever is greater. The fine, however, increases over time and in 2016 will be as much as $695 per adult and $347 per child (up to $2,085 for a family) or 2.5 percent of family income, whichever is greater.

We said everybody must prove coverage, but there are some exceptions to that rule. If you can't afford coverage because premiums cost more than 8 percent of your household income, you don't have to have coverage. Also, if you don't make enough money to file a tax return, you are also exempt. If you live in one of the many states which opted not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, you also don't have to participate. Other exemptions exist, but they are fairly narrow, usually for people already receiving health benefits from the government, such as native Americans.

Your first chance to prove that coverage will be with the filing ofyour 2014 tax return on April 15, 2015. Job-based plans, including COBRA, or coverage from a retirement plan will likely satisfy the mandate. Coverage from Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIPs, some VA programs or TRICARE coverage for our military members and their dependents will satisfy the requirement. Likewise, you can buy coverage from a government exchange or a private exchange. Take care with the latter, though, because Obamacare has fairly high requirements for coverage that a private plan may not meet.   

  • Health NewsMore>>

  • Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Breast Cancer & HIV Diagnosis

    Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Breast Cancer & HIV Diagnosis

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:52 AM EDT2014-07-21 15:52:53 GMT
    Many women diagnosed with breast cancer in recent years have chosen to have their other, "healthy" breast removed. Now, new research is suggesting there's very little benefit to having this procedure done.Also, lots of news surrounding this next topic…we're talking about HIV focusing on a drop in people being diagnosed by a third.
    Many women diagnosed with breast cancer in recent years have chosen to have their other, "healthy" breast removed. Now, new research is suggesting there's very little benefit to having this procedure done.Also, lots of news surrounding this next topic…we're talking about HIV focusing on a drop in people being diagnosed by a third.
  • Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Interrupted Sleep & Hot Flashes

    Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Interrupted Sleep & Hot Flashes

    Monday, July 14 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-07-14 15:33:59 GMT
    We know not getting enough sleep is harmful to your health, but a new study says having interrupted sleep is just as bad? Also, there's no great cure for hot flashes, however a new study says losing weight may help?
    We know not getting enough sleep is harmful to your health, but a new study says having interrupted sleep is just as bad? Also, there's no great cure for hot flashes, however a new study says losing weight may help?
  • Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Sleep, Stem Cell Research & Pelvic Exams

    Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Sleep, Stem Cell Research & Pelvic Exams

    Monday, July 7 2014 11:32 AM EDT2014-07-07 15:32:56 GMT
    A couple of topics to discuss. First up, one so critical to so many of us....Sleep or lack thereof really affects cognitive skills. Also, early this year a big to-do about stem cell research...and now back tracking in a big way.
    A couple of topics to discuss. First up, one so critical to so many of us....Sleep or lack thereof really affects cognitive skills. Also, early this year a big to-do about stem cell research...and now back tracking in a big way.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices