We’re now one week into open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act. The Whitehouse promises glitches in the enrollment process will be fixed soon but we’re finding people still have a lot of questions before signing up.
“There’s a lot of confusion on part by people on how it’s going to impact them,” says Clemson University Public Health Sciences Chairman Lee Crandall.
Crandall has read and studied the Affordable Care Act. He says since open enrollment began more and more people are asking questions.
7 On Your Side asked viewers on our Facebook page what their questions were and took them to Crandall.
Do you have to enroll?
“If you are above the poverty line and you currently have no coverage, no Medicare, Medicaid, no employer based insurance than yes you have to enroll or else there will be a penalty on your taxes,” Crandall says.
If my kids are on Medicaid, and I’m uninsured will we lose benefits? I heard you can’t have both.
“That’s true at the individual level but not at the family level so her children could stay on Medicaid and she and her husband could purchase insurance for themselves individually,” Crandall says.
I’m enrolled in medicare. Do I have to sign up?
“If you’re enrolled in medicare this law helps you,” Crandall says, “It’s closing the so called donut hole in part d of medicare so you won’t pay as much for prescription drugs in the future.”
I’m trying to get disability. Do I still need to enroll?
“It would be prudent to try to enroll. If you get disability benefits then qualify for medicare, it’s probably going to be a lengthy process to first qualify for disability on your social security and then get medicare after qualify so in the meantime it might be better to be covered,” Crandall says.
If I don’t get insurance will I be fined at tax time?
“The first year that penalty is only about $100 per person but it goes up after that,” Crandall says.
How can I find out if I qualify for a subsidy?
“There’s a really good calculator on the Kaiser Family Foundation website,” Crandall says, “You can actually put in your zip code, the size of your family and what your family income was last year and it will tell you what the silver plan would cost you and how much of a subsidy you would get to help buy that plan.
You can find the Kaiser Family Foundation Calculator by clicking here.