Below you will find information compiled by my office concerning the implementation of Obamacare. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office any time. I look forward to hearing from you.
OBAMACARE IN TENNESSEE
Because Tennessee has decided not to operate its own insurance exchange under Obamacare, residents who are not offered insurance through their employer are required to purchase it from the federal insurance exchange. Although the federal government will operate it, Tennessee insurance companies will provide the plans for Tennesseans to purchase. If you have purchased health insurance or have proof of attempt-to-purchase by March 31, 2014, you should not receive a fine.
You can find more information on Tennessee's health insurance exchange HERE.
COSTS and SUBSIDIES
Government subsidies to help purchase insurance are available to people with incomes of up to 400% above the poverty line -- roughly $45,000 for an individual or $92,000 for a family of four.
The law creates a “minimum essential coverage” level that all plans must meet. Minimum essential coverage is defined as:
• Coverage under certain government-sponsored plans (Medicare, Medicaid, Tri-Care)
• Employer-sponsored plans
• Plans in the individual market
• Grandfathered health plans
• Any other health benefits coverage, such as a state health benefits risk pool, as recognized by the HHS Secretary
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare's individual mandate requiring all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty is constitutional under Congress' power to tax.
Individuals who fail to carry health insurance will be taxed $95 per person or 1 percent of income in 2014, whichever is greater, increasing in subsequent years and eventually reaching $695 per person, per year or 2.5 percent of income by 2016.
The IRS is the federal agency charged under the law with collecting this tax/fine. Penalties for not purchasing insurance will likely be taken from a person's income tax refund if they are due one.
For more information on Obamacare from the federal government, please visit healthcare.gov.