Last month, the Obama administration announced a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act requirement that employers offer "affordable" insurance to their workers; that mandate was to have taken effect next year.
There has been no such delay in the act's requirement for individuals to have coverage in 2014. In fact, six weeks from today, new ACA state health exchanges are to begin signing up folks who do not have insurance.
An individual essentially has three options: get coverage through their employer (if it's available - "affordable" or not); pay for an individual plan (some people may be eligible for a subsidy); or go uninsured.
The penalty for not obtaining insurance is to be $95 or 1 percent of taxable income - whichever is greater - next year. That would increase to the greater of $325 or 2 percent of taxable income in 2015, and $695 or 2.5 percent of income in 2016.
Complicating matters, procedures to verify the incomes of people claiming to be eligible for government subsidies for insurance on state health exchanges also are being delayed a year.
Confused? Wondering what to do? You might benefit from a seminar about health care reform by Deborah Boop with Anthem BCBS set for 7:30-9 a.m. Wednesday at Fostoria Chamber of Commerce, 121 N. Main St., Fostoria.
The seminar is free, but reservations are needed today at (419) 435-0486 or coordinator@fostoria
So, um, don't delay.