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Happy New Year!

When it comes to healthcare reform we have passed all but one of the major deadlines! Now, there is only one date to consider and it is an important one.

March 31, 2014.

By March 31, 2014 everyone is required to either have healthcare or have received an exemption from the mandate to purchase healthcare. This date represents the end of open enrollment for health insurance. That means if you do not enroll by midnight on March 31, you will be unable to enroll in a Marketplace plan until the next open enrollment period of October 1, 2014.

The March 31, 2014 deadline is also the last day a person cannot have insurance and not be penalized on their 2014 taxes. If a person has not enrolled in a health insurance plan, as of April 1, 2014 or received an exemption, that person will be charged the individual shared responsibility payment.

Remember, one of the tenets of the Affordable Care Act is that everyone must maintain health insurance for at least nine months out of the year. If a person does not, and that person has not received an exemption, that person can be charged the individual shared responsibility payment, which is $95 (per adult) or 1% of their income (whichever is higher) during this first year.

A Navigator can help you with your Affordable Care Act questions, enrollment, appeals, and help you apply for an exemption. Please visit www.richlandlibrary.com/aca for more information, as well as dates and locations when you can meet with a Certified Navigator at a local Richland Library branch.