Individual insurance mandate kicks in Jan. 1

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Healthcare > Exchanges are open now

By Arin McKenna

One aspect of the Affordable Car Act that has stirred considerable controversy is the mandate for everyone to be insured. That mandate goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014.
One bright spot is that many of those whose employers do not offer health insurance will be eligible for some sort of assistance.
New Mexico is one of the states taking advantage of the ACA’s expanded Medicaid coverage. That means that Medicaid coverage is no longer restricted to pregnant women, children and disabled adults but is available to anyone under 65 whose income is within 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
According to Terry Linton, one of the presenters for the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce small business insurance workshops, 200,000 of New Mexico’s 400,000 uninsured are expected to qualify for the expanded Medicaid coverage.
More information on Medicaid coverage is available at hsd.state.nm.us/CentennialCare,
Those who do not qualify for Medicaid but earn up to 400 percent above the federal poverty level may qualify for subsidies through the insurance exchange (healthcare.gov.), provided their employers do not offer an affordable, qualified insurance plan.
Income levels for those qualifying for subsidies must fall between:
• $11,490 to $45,960 for individuals
• $15,510 to $62,040 for a family of 2

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