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Will I be fined for not having health insurance?

 

The Affordable Health Care Act is now in full effect. What this means is that all Americans that are within a certain income level are required to have health insurance.

Recent data shows that most individuals get their health insurance through their employers. The remaining consumers are either covered by private insurance or through federal or state programs, Medicare and Medicaid. Data also shows about 50 million Americans are still uninsured.

Individuals or families that fall below the income tax filing levels would not be fined. In addition, consumers that are underemployed or unable to find a policy that will cost them less than 8% of their adjusted gross income would also be exempt.

Here is a breakdown of the fees since the inception of the plan.

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**The 2017 percentage rate will stay the same at 2.5%, however the flat fee will be adjusted due to inflation.

Why Rental Insurance is Important

Even if you are not purchasing the home, or apartment, you are living in, you should still consider insuring your valuables, and odds are, you have more than you might think.

Things like jewelry seem like an obvious choice that would warrant protection, but for a very affordable price, you can get coverage for those items, as well as furniture, appliances, clothing etc. In addition, renters insurance can protect you beyond just your personal property at your apartment or house but also in your vehicle. (think about a laptop in the backseat)  It can also give you protection against any liability from injuries sustained by people visiting your home.  Also, if your place needs any serious repairs that require you to leave the premise, rental insurance will cover any reasonable increase in your living costs for housing, food etc., that you incur while you are removed from the property.

For a few hundred dollars a year, you can have the peace of mind knowing that you and your personal belongings are covered.

There are 3 things to  consider when looking at purchasing a Renters Policy:

Replacement cost coverage. Standard insurance policies pay you the actual cash value of your loss minus depreciation. Replacement cost coverage allows you to purchase the damaged item at the price it would cost you to replace it. That’s a great option, especially if your damaged television is only worth $500 but it would cost $1000 to replace it.

Specific Personal Property Endorsements. Standard insurance policies limit the amount they will pay out for specific items, like jewelry. If you have jewelry or collectables, it would be wise to get additional coverage.

Deductible.  The lower the deductible the lower out of pocket cost you will have in the event of a claim. This also directly correlates with the cost of the insurance policy.

Is the Affordable Care Act working?

 

Currently,18 million more people are enrolled in health insurance coverage than there were in 2013, indicating that the Affordable Care Act is working to solve the problem of the uninsured. However, there are still 9.1 percent of Americans that do not have coverage, which speaks to what is not working well and the unlikelihood that the number can decrease much lower.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center For Health Statistics report that was published in September, 2016 – “From January through March 2016, the percentage of persons of all ages that were uninsured at the time of interview was 8.6% (27.3 million). The decrease of 0.5 percentage points from the 2015 uninsured rate of 9.1% (28.6 million) was not statistically significant. About 21.3 million fewer persons lacked health insurance coverage in the first 3 months of 2016 compared with 2010 (48.6 million or 16.0%)”.

States across the country are still not embracing the Obama administrations requests to expand their Medicaid coverage, thus leaving millions of poor Americans without affordable options. In addition, the marketplace created for uninsured folks state by state is struggling across the country. Many insurers are choosing to drop out while others are increasing their prices. The uncertainty of the upcoming presidentially election is also causing some havoc in the marketplace. The republicans have vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act if given the chance.

Having affordable health care seems to be an unpredictable commodity. Peace of mind knowing that you and your loved ones have adequate coverage really is priceless. Be sure you understand your coverage and ask questions if you are unsure of your exact needs.

 

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center For Health Statistics