If you don’t have health insurance coverage, the deadline to enroll for 2015 under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is just two weeks away on Feb. 15.
You can sign up for coverage and potential tax benefits with Covered California, which is the public insurance marketplace for our state.
It’s important to remember that if you aren’t covered by health insurance this year, you will have to pay a penalty with your tax return next year. That’s because the foundation of Obamacare is a requirement that all Americans have health insurance, either through an employer or purchased separately.
If you aren’t covered by health insurance in 2015, the tax penalty will be $325 or 2 percent of your household income, whichever is greater.
Don’t worry too much about the partisan politics surrounding Obamacare. Even though the Republican majority in Congress is talking about repealing the law, and it faces a challenge before the Supreme Court, a new poll shows that a majority of Americans want it preserved and improved.
“After over 50 failed attempts to repeal the ACA, it’s appearing less and less likely that the majority is going to succeed in repealing the law. My staff and I get our health coverage through the ACA and I would urge my constituents to sign up,” said Rep. Susan Davis, whose 53rd District covers La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and parts of San Diego, El Cajon, and Chula Vista.
“Since enactment of the ACA, the number of uninsured has dropped, the cost of health care premiums has slowed, and just recently the Congressional Budget Office said the price tag originally associated with the ACA will be less than anticipated,” Davis said. “I hope the majority will soon shift from repealing to embracing a law that is making a difference for Americans.”
So far 9.5 million Americans have signed up for insurance through either state exchanges or the federal government’s HealthCare.gov site. That means Obamacare has reduced the number of uninsured Americans by a quarter, based on an estimate by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation of 41 million uninsured in 2013.
If you need help applying for coverage, local United Way organizations across the country are helping Americans understand their health care options under the new law. Davis said her office would help as well.