Government clarifies timing to avoid health law fines - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Government clarifies timing to avoid health law fines

WASHINGTON (AP) - You'll have to get coverage by Valentine's Day or thereabouts to avoid penalties for being uninsured, the Obama administration confirmed Wednesday.
    
That's about six weeks earlier than a Mar. 31 deadline often cited previously.
    
The explanation: health insurance coverage typically starts on the first day of a given month, and it takes up to 15 days to process applications.
    
You still have to be covered by Mar. 31 to avoid penalties for those remaining uninsured. But to successfully accomplish that you have to send in your application by the middle of February. Coverage would start Mar. 1.
    
The Jackson Hewitt tax preparation company first pointed out the wrinkle with the health care law's least popular requirement.
    
An administration official confirmed it. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
    
It's the latest tweak involving complex requirements of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law. The Affordable Care Act aims to cover the uninsured through a mix of government-subsidized private insurance and a major expansion of the Medicaid safety net program.
    
The rollout of online insurance markets this month has been snarled by technical glitches that frustrated many consumers. Meanwhile, House Republicans are still pressing their demand for a delay of "Obamacare" provisions, if not its total repeal, as a condition for lifting the partial government shutdown now in its second week.
    
Starting next year, the health care law requires virtually all Americans to have insurance or face a tax penalty, triggered after a coverage gap of three months. The penalty starts as low as $95 for 2014, but escalates in subsequent years. There are exemptions for financial hardship and other defined circumstances.
    
The purpose of the penalty is to nudge as many people as possible into the insurance pool. That would help keep premiums in check, since the law also forbids insurers from turning away people with health problems.
    
Brian Haile, senior vice president for health policy at Jackson Hewitt, said an earlier deadline around Valentine's Day may even be a blessing in disguise for the administration, because it creates a natural marketing opportunity.
    
The administration says the deadline is actually Feb. 15, the day after Valentine's Day.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    more>>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    more>>
  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    more>>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    more>>
  • Teen with cerebral palsy denied prom tickets

    Teen with cerebral palsy denied prom tickets

    Friday, April 28 2017 10:36 PM EDT2017-04-29 02:36:27 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:00 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:00:47 GMT
    Ashley Hamblin already has her dress picked out, but may not be able to wear it. (WSMV)Ashley Hamblin already has her dress picked out, but may not be able to wear it. (WSMV)

    She has her dress, her date, and an extensive hair and makeup plan. It’s all in anticipation of her high school prom, but a Middle Tennessee teen was denied tickets.

    more>>

    She has her dress, her date, and an extensive hair and makeup plan. It’s all in anticipation of her high school prom, but a Middle Tennessee teen was denied tickets.

    more>>
Powered by Frankly