In this past year or two, Health Care has become a more pressed issue then it has ever been. Having health care is a good thing, right? Well, a lot of people have had issues with the new Health Care movement. Wether it may be that they can’t afford it or they may rather find another source of payment. With that being said, we understand that the people needed inside information on this touchy subject so there can be closure on the issue. In this financial crisis, people attach the new health care movement with other tactical plots to salvage our economy. Why don’t the people understand that this is actually a great opportunity for them? Well, in order to get to the bottom of this we talked to Daytona native , now residing in Washington D.C., Genesis Robinson about his roll in the “Affordable Health Care Act”. With only days left to sign up, here is how Genesis kicked the people some knowledge in our exclusive interview.
1) (We first got his full name which has been expressed above)
2.Birth place and current residence (if you relocated for an occupation, explain)
Daytona Beach, FL
In January 2013 I moved to Washington D.C. to take a job with the Federal Government.
3.What is your occupation?
4.Explain your role in helping people apply for health care.
Since open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) begin, I have worked to ensure that everyone I know is enrolled in a healthcare plan that meets their needs and is within their budget. Via my role as Federal employee who works for a member of Congress and private citizen who is concerned about ensuring everyone has access to quality healthcare, I have been able to assist a bevy of people with enrollment. I have worked with both professional and civic organizations to ensure that everyone I know is enrolled. I have assisted people from all walks of life; everyone from family and friends to strangers and acquaintances.
5.On a financial level, how can the government benefit from having the majority of citizens insured?
Not only does the government benefit from having the majority of citizens insured, but private citizens do too. When someone whose uninsured needs emergency care, the bill for that care is passed on to hardworking people who have their own bills of their own to pay and maintain. By requiring everyone to maintain and pay for an insurance plan, it reduces the cost for everyone.
It’s very similar to a group of friends deciding to split the cost for dinner. Imagine being at dinner with 10 people, and you get a bill for $100, yet only 4 people split the bill with you. That makes 6 people who did not contribute to the cost of the final bill and as a result, the price is increased for the 4 people who had to pay. Whereas, if all 10 people paid, the cost is distributed among those who ate and price is lowered for everyone involved.
6.What advice do you have for those who don’t have health care?
Get insured! The deadline to start your application is March 31, 2014. If you don’t believe that you can complete the application by that date, just start. The Obama Administration has extended the deadline to Mid-April for those who start the process by March 31, 2014.Having healthcare can potentially save your life and add years to your life.
Even if you are unsure about the cost, get on the website and search the plans. Most people are eligible for a subsidy which pays a large part of the plan for you. I have helped people enroll for a plan and they had to pay NOTHING. As a fan of basketball, I would say that “you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take”.
7.When is the deadline to enroll?
The deadline to start enrollment is Monday, March 31, 2014
However, the Obama Administration has announced that people who started the application process by the March 31st deadline will be able to quality for an extension until Mid- April. To qualify for an extension, a person should check the blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline.
8. Do you have any links or tips that can help people get started?
With the March 31 enrollment deadline so close, I don’t recommend using a paper application. You can enroll entirely online right now. Or you can contact the Marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to apply, pick a plan, and enroll.
9. What is needed to apply for an affordable healthcare plan?
• Social Security Numbers (or document numbers for legal immigrants)
• Employer and income information for every member of your household who needs coverage (for example, from pay stubs or W-2 forms-Wage and Tax Statements)
•Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household
10. How can someone avoid paying a penalty?
To avoid the penalty you need insurance that qualifies as minimum essential coverage. If you’re covered by any of the following in 2014, you’re considered covered and don’t have to pay a penalty:
• Any Marketplace plan, or any individual insurance plan you already have
•Any employer plan (including COBRA), with or without “grandfathered” status. This includes retiree plans
•The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
•TRICARE (for current service members and military retirees, their families, and survivors)
• Veterans health care programs (including the Veterans Health Care Program, VA Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA), and Spina Bifida Health Care Benefits Program)
• Peace Corps Volunteer plans
• Self-funded health coverage offered to students by universities for plan or policy years that begin on or before Dec. 31, 2014
11.What will be deducted from your 2015 income tax if you do not get health insurance this year?
The penalty in 2014 is calculated one of 2 ways. You’ll pay whichever of these amounts is higher:
•1% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold (which is $10,150) for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.)
- The maximum fine a individual could be penalized is the national average for a yearly premium for a bronze plan (which currently is about $9,800)
For example, a single person who will earn $35,000 in 2014, the penalty would be $249 ($35,000 – $10,150 = $24,850 x 1% = $249).
•$95 per person over 18 for the year ($47.50 per child under 18).
The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.
The way the penalty is calculated, a single adult with household income between $10,150 – $19,650 would pay the $95 flat rate. A single adult with household income above $19,650 would pay an amount based on the 1 percent rate. (If income is below $10,150, no penalty is owed.)
The penalty increases every year. In 2015 it’s 2% of income or $325 per person. In 2016 and later years it’s 2.5% of income or $695 per person. After that it’s adjusted for inflation.
If you’re uninsured for just part of the year, 1/12 of the yearly penalty applies to each month you’re uninsured. If you’re uninsured for less than 3 months, you don’t have to make a payment.
12. What can people do to spread the word?
Telling others about the benefits and importance of signing up for Health Care is vitally important. As a community we must make it our responsibility to ensure that each other is covered and has all relevant information to make an informed decision about our health. We can spread the word via social media, word of mouth, through civic and social organizations (church, fraternity/sorority, book club, neighborhood watch groups, and etc.)
13. Why do you think it is important for people to enroll for healthcare?
I think affordable healthcare is vitally important because it allows people to live healthier and longer lives. Having access to quality care not only helps when you are sick and ill, but it can also serve as a deterrent to prevent you from being more susceptible to diseases and infections prior to them developing. Additionally, I think it is important that people enroll in a health care plan through the Affordable Care Act because it shows the President that we support his vision and are appreciative for the sacrifice he made to vouch for the millions of uninsured Americans. For people to not follow up and enroll in healthcare after the President spent so much political capital to get the Bill passed is both asinine and irresponsible.
I believe that some people have allowed the media to cloud their judgment and plant seeds of doubt into their minds about the effectiveness and/or need for a law that provides affordable healthcare to everyone regardless of their race, religion, gender and/or socio-economic status. We mustn’t forget that for over 100 years prior to President Obama, every President has tried to get meaningful healthcare reform, but failed.
Healthcare reform is by far the most important legislative victory for African Americans. At a time when African Americans are disproportionally more likely to suffer from illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure and we are 55% less likely to have health insurance than our white counterparts, we cannot allow this opportunity to get covered and start living healthy lifestyles pass us by. Because of the Affordable Care Act, there is now, almost 7 million African Americans who now have access to affordable care for the first time in their life. Ensuring they capitalize on that is paramount to the long-term progression of our community.
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Written by: Bruce Walton and Genesis Robinson
Published by: Keedie’s Corner