Gov't Clarifies Timing to Avoid Health Law Fines - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Gov't Clarifies Timing to Avoid Health Law Fines

Posted:

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.

 

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • No Home Confinement for Former Delaware Prison Guard

    No Home Confinement for Former Delaware Prison Guard

    Feb 23, 2018 5:07 PM2018-02-23 22:07:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:07 PM EST2018-02-23 22:07:14 GMT
    A federal judge says he has no authority to allow home confinement for a former Delaware prison guard sentenced to three years for smuggling drugs and cellphones to inmates.More
    A federal judge says he has no authority to allow home confinement for a former Delaware prison guard sentenced to three years for smuggling drugs and cellphones to inmates.More
  • Arrest Made in Smyrna-Cape 'Basketbrawl'

    Arrest Made in Smyrna-Cape 'Basketbrawl'

    Feb 23, 2018 4:56 PM2018-02-23 21:56:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:03 PM EST2018-02-23 22:03:53 GMT
    An arrest has been made after a fight broke out at the Smyrna High School and Cape Henlopen High School boys' basketball game Thursday night.More
    An arrest has been made after a fight broke out at the Smyrna High School and Cape Henlopen High School boys' basketball game Thursday night.More
  • Harrington Man Arrested for Involvement in Selling Heroin

    Harrington Man Arrested After Selling Heroin

    Feb 23, 2018 3:55 PM2018-02-23 20:55:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 4:03 PM EST2018-02-23 21:03:12 GMT
    Courtesy of Delaware State Police Courtesy of Delaware State Police
    Courtesy of Delaware State PoliceCourtesy of Delaware State Police
    Delaware State Police said they arrested a Harrington man Thursday after they discovered he had been involved in selling heroin.More
    Delaware State Police said they arrested a Harrington man Thursday after they discovered he had been involved in selling heroin. More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Headed Toward Maryland

    Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Headed Toward Maryland

    Farmers like Jennie Schmidt of Queen Anne's County know all too well how hard it is to grow grapes. And now Mother Nature, in the shape of a quarter-sized, red and black polka-dotted bug, is about to make Schmidt's job even more challenging. The spotted lanternfly, already pestering nearby states like Pennsylvania and Virginia, is on its way to Maryland.

    More

    Farmers like Jennie Schmidt of Queen Anne's County know all too well how hard it is to grow grapes. And now Mother Nature, in the shape of a quarter-sized, red and black polka-dotted bug, is about to make Schmidt's job even more challenging. The spotted lanternfly, already pestering nearby states like Pennsylvania and Virginia, is on its way to Maryland.

    More
  • Cruisin OC Heads back to Ocean City

    Cruisin OC Heads back to Ocean City

    It's official, Cruisin OC will be rolling through Ocean City once again in the Spring. Earlier this week, the council approved dates for the car show.
    Some locals say they're dreading for when those dates arrive. George Balunis, an Ocean City resident, says when the car events come into town, he stays inside.
    More
    It's official, Cruisin OC will be rolling through Ocean City once again in the Spring. Earlier this week, the council approved dates for the car show.
    Some locals say they're dreading for when those dates arrive. George Balunis, an Ocean City resident, says when the car events come into town, he stays inside.
    More
  • Medicare Fraud Lawsuit Names Private Ambulance Company & PRMC

    Medicare Fraud Lawsuit Names Private Ambulance Company & PRMC

    Federal authorities are investigating claims a private ambulance company committed Medicare fraud with the participation of Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

    A lawsuit filed in federal court outlines an alleged scheme to rake in tens of millions of dollars by over-billing Medicare on tens of thousands of non-emergency trips.

    More

    Federal authorities are investigating claims a private ambulance company committed Medicare fraud with the participation of Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

    A lawsuit filed in federal court outlines an alleged scheme to rake in tens of millions of dollars by over-billing Medicare on tens of thousands of non-emergency trips.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices