There’s still time to sign up to avoid health care penalty

Sandhills Regional Medical Center offers help before Feb. 15 deadline

* More than 430,000 NC residents signed up

HAMLET — If you’re uninsured, there’s still time to sign up for health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace and avoid the penalty. Under the Affordable Care Act, 2015 is the first year Americans must prove they had qualifying health insurance (or an approved exemption) for the previous year (when filing 2014 taxes), or face a tax penalty.

A Sandhills Regional Medical Center photo

A Sandhills Regional Medical Center photo

For 2015, if you don’t obtain insurance by Feb. 15, the last day to of the open enrollment period, the penalty will be applied to your annual taxable income for each full month you don’t have health insurance in 2015. The penalty fee is $325 per adult, $162.50 per child – up to $975 per family or 2 percent of family income, whichever is higher. And, without insurance, you will be financially responsible for all of your medical costs.

The good news is based on household income and dependents, some individuals may qualify for financial assistance from the government – or subsidies – towards the cost of the premium and other financial obligations like co-pays or deductibles.

“This is where Sandhills Regional Medical Center can help the uninsured in our community,” said CEO David Clay. “With many people lacking access to a computer or just need help maneuvering through the enrollment website, our application counselors can help. We can assist individuals and their families evaluate the available health plans and determine if they’re eligible for Medicaid or other insurance options.

Medicaid

In all states, Medicaid provides health coverage for some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the efaceacelderly, and people with disabilities. In some states, the program covers all low-income adults below a certain income level.

“Even though North Carolina has chosen not to expand Medicaid, there are still many individuals in our community who qualify for Medicaid coverage,” explained Clay. We can help screen these individuals and if they qualify, we can enroll them at any time, with health coverage beginning immediately.”

“Let us help take the frustration out of the enrollment process. Call us at 910-205-8052 or 910-205-8162 before Feb. 15 to help you get a healthy start to the New Year,” said Clay.

Filed in: Hamlet, Health, Latest Headlines, News

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