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Just five days left to enroll

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By Arin McKenna

Time is running out to purchase health insurance for 2014.
The restructuring of healthcare funding in New Mexico was prompted in part by a review of how federal healthcare dollars were being used within the state and in part by changes initiated under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as expanded Medicaid.
The ACA also has provisions that affect individuals and families, including the “individual mandate” to purchase insurance. The deadline to sign up for insurance for 2014 is March 31.
Those who have not enrolled by then face a penalty of either $95 or 1 percent of adjusted gross income, whichever is higher. The penalty for an individual with an income of $30,000 will be $300 the first year. The penalty for uninsured children is $47.50 per child.
The good news is that many New Mexicans will qualify for subsidies to help pay for insurance,
Subsidies for insurance purchased on the insurance exchange (healthcare.gov) are available to those who earn up to 400 percent above the federal poverty level. Income levels to qualify for subsidies must fall between:
• $11,490 to $45,960 for individuals
• $15,510 to $62,040 for a family of 2
• $19,530 to $78,120 for a family of 3
• $23,550 to $94,200 for a family of 4
Income levels increase for families with more children.
If an employer provides insurance that offers minimum essential benefits at a cost of no more than 9.5 percent of the employee’s adjusted gross income, the employee is not eligible for subsidies, even though their income level would otherwise qualify on the exchanges.
Those who fall below income levels for subsidies may qualify for the expanded Medicaid program, which is available to anyone under 65 whose income is within 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
To sign up for insurance on the exchange, go to bewellnm.com or healthcare.gov, or call 1-855-99-NMHIX.
For more information on expanded Medicaid go to http://hsd.state.nm.us/CentennialCare.