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What You Need To Know About March Health Deadline

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sick of hearing about the health care law?

Plenty of people have tuned out after all the political jabber and website woes.

But now is the time to tune back in, before it’s too late.

The big deadline is coming March 31.

By that day, for the first time, nearly everyone in the United States is required to be signed up for health insurance or risk paying a fine.

Here’s what you need to know about this month’s open enrollment countdown:

Already covered? No worries.

Most people don’t need to do anything. Even before the health care law passed in 2010, more than 8 out of 10 U.S. residents had coverage, usually through their workplace plans or the government’s Medicare or Medicaid programs. Some have private policies that meet the law’s requirements.

If you’re already covered that way, you meet the law’s requirements.

Since October, about 4 million people have signed up for private plans through the new state and federal marketplaces, the Obama administration says, although it’s not clear how many were already insured elsewhere. In addition, many poor adults now have Medicaid coverage for the first time through expansions of the program in about half the states.

President Barack Obama is urging people who have coverage to help any uninsured friends and relatives get signed up.

Need coverage? It’s crunch time.

Chances are you’ll hear more reminders about health care this month. The push is on to reach millions of uninsured people.

On Thursday, Obama will participate in a televised town hall aimed at reaching uninsured Hispanics, who make up nearly a third of all uninsured people nationally. The White House said the event is sponsored by a coalition of nonprofit groups and major Latino media outlets, and will be disseminated across broadcast stations, websites and social media.

Wooing Hispanics is a priority, but it’s just one component of a broader effort by the administration, insurers, medical associations and nonprofit groups to get the word out and guide people through the sometimes-rocky enrollment process. They plan special events at colleges, libraries, churches and work sites.

Singing cats, dogs, parrots – even a goldfish – are promoting the message in TV and online spots from the Ad Council.

A big hurdle for the effort: As recently as last month, three-fourths of the uninsured didn’t know there was a March 31 deadline, according to polling conducted for the Kaiser Family Foundation. Most said they didn’t know much about the law and had an unfavorable opinion of it.

Plus, many worry they won’t be able to afford the new plans.

The enrollment campaign is emphasizing that subsidies are available on a sliding scale to help low-income and middle-class households pay for their insurance.

How to enroll? Start at HealthCare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596. Residents of states running their own marketplaces will be directed there; people in other states go through the federal exchange.

After March 31, many people won’t be able to get subsidized coverage this year, even if they become seriously ill.

The next open enrollment period is set to begin Nov. 15, for coverage in 2015.

Deadline details

There are exceptions. The big one is the Medicaid program for the poor. People who meet the requirements can sign up anytime, with no deadline.

Also, people remain eligible for Medicare whenever they turn 65.

If you are insured now and lose your coverage during the year, by getting laid off from your job, for example, you can use an exchange to find a new policy then. People can sign up outside the open enrollment period in special situations such as having a baby or moving to another state.

You can choose to buy insurance outside the marketplaces and still benefit from consumer protections in the law.

People who do that wouldn’t normally be eligible for premium subsidies. But the Obama administration says exceptions will be made for people whose attempts to buy marketplace insurance on time were stymied by continuing problems with some enrollment websites.

Millions of people won’t get covered

Some 12 million people could gain health coverage this year because of the law, if congressional auditors’ predictions don’t prove overly optimistic.

Even so, tens of millions still would go without.

That’s partly because of immigrants in the country illegally; they aren’t eligible for marketplace policies.

Some of the uninsured will not find out about the program in time, will find it confusing or too costly, or will just procrastinate too long. Some feel confident of their health and prefer to risk going uninsured instead of paying premiums. Others are philosophically opposed to participating.

Figuring out just how many of the uninsured got coverage this year won’t be easy because the numbers are fuzzy.

The administration’s enrollment count includes people who already were insured and used the exchanges to find a better deal, or switched from private insurance to Medicaid, or already qualified for Medicaid before the changes.

Some who sign up will end up uninsured anyway, if they fail to pay their premiums.

The budget experts predict enrollment will grow in future years and by 2017 some 92 percent of legal residents too young for Medicare will have insurance.

But even then, about 30 million people in the United States would go uncovered.

Some are left out

A gap in the law means some low-income workers can’t get help.

The insurance marketplaces weren’t designed to serve people whose low incomes qualify them for expanded Medicaid instead. But some states have declined to expand their Medicaid programs. That means that in those states, many poor people will get left out.

People who fall into the gap won’t be penalized for failing to get covered.

Some others are exempt from the insurance mandate, too: American Indians, those with religious objections, prisoners, immigrants in the country illegally, and people considered too poor to buy coverage even with financial assistance.

The IRSis watching you

The law says people who aren’t covered in 2014 are liable for a fine. That amounts to $95 per uninsured person or approximately 1 percent of income, whichever is higher. The penalty goes up in later years.

A year from now, the Internal Revenue Service will be asking taxpayers filing their forms for proof of insurance coverage. Insurance companies are supposed to provide that documentation to their customers.

If you owe a penalty for being uninsured, the IRS can withhold it from your refund.

The agency can’t put people in jail or garnishee wages to get the money. But it can withhold the penalty from a future year’s tax refund.

Original Story Here

Resources:

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Send Me The Health Tips?

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    1. Reply

      Many people take for granted very simple ways to healthy living and eating. Our foods are full of toxins, chemicals and preservatives so when you eat try to think natural which is the best way to know your eating right.

      If we go back thousands of years when man had no supermarkets and no packaged goods but just simple food then we can relate that to how we should be eating in the 21st century. Back then man would eat food straight from the fruit trees, vegetables that have no chemicals in the soil and free of pesticide spray. Men and women would have been much healthier as they would have also had to work hard to gather their food and we all know that exercise is a vital part of healthy living.

      Instead of buying your vegetables from the supermarket which are usually full of chemicals and pesticides consider taking a visit to your small local fresh fruit & vegetable store. Not all of these small fresh fruit & vegetable stores are are that much better as many of them still buy their stock from the same growers as the supermarket chains. The best way to judge if the produce is free from toxins & chemicals is to take it in your hand and take a look at the produce. Study the leafs in greens, do they have a look of been nearly perfect and pest free? If the leaves looks like they have had some harmless insects nibbling at the leaves then thats a good sign the produce has not been sprayed. Do the tomatoes looks pale and without blemishes? If so they have been grown in a hothouse artificially. You are the best judge, use your own discretion and ask the shop keeper directly if the produce is organic and free of sprays & chemicals.

      You can also find particular sections in supermarkets & fresh fruit & vegetable stores that cater especially for organic foods which is probably one of the best guarantees that the food is free of toxins. You can also find fresh fruit & vegetable stores that only sell organic foods which is usually the best places to buy.

      Eggs are another food source that can be unhealthy to eat due to the chickens bred in cages and they get no exercise and the eggs contain traces of chemicals from the artificially produced eggs. The eggs also have less natural vitamins, minerals and proteins so we don’t get the full benefits of what natural eggs would normally contain. To be assured your eggs are going to be good for you then buy farm range eggs that are organically grown.

      How many of us buy white sugar or use white sugar when buying a drink from a café? Most likely over 80% of us… Instead of having white sugar which is very bad for our health when too much of it is consumed, buy raw sugar which is less refined or even better use honey to sweeten your drinks and food. Honey is a very healthy food but make sure you buy it unfiltered and honey that has not gone through any processing or heating. The best place to buy honey is straight from the owners of bee hives. If you do have to buy your honey from a store then look for a dark natural color with traces of honey comb and read the label.

      Another over consumed everyday food source is salt, apparently most people eat 2 sacks of salt a year more than they need. That is an awful lot of salt but its in nearly every packaged food and nearly all foods from your local restaurant, cafés or fast food outlet. Aways insist on salt free food when buying from these places and most restaurant & cafés will be happy to prepare a special dish free of salt for you although at a slightly higher price but it’s well worth it. We all need some salt but not so much, only use natural sea salt or kelp in our meals and do so moderately.

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  2. Reply

    What Are Some Good Health/fitness Tips? Im a fourteen years old and i been trying to lose weight for a month and only loss two pounds and i want to lose a lot of weight before the summer ends (seven weeks)

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    1. Reply

      TIP 1. Study.
      Your body has no choice but to follow your brain. So, you should feed your brain a steady diet of good information if you want to be all you can be. It’s YOUR body and it has to last a lifetime so it’s worth the investment. Don’t ask questions of random strangers with no credibility in this or other online forums. Use high quality resources for information instead. The basic principles of health, fitness, and nutrition are not that difficult or hard to understand.

      Avoid the internet unless you’re using trusted sites in dot gov or dot edu domains. The dot coms are usually driven by profit motive and you’ll find bad information in most websties including WebMD, Livestrong, Bobybuilding.com, etc. and especially in this forum and others like it. And, avoid magazine and other cheap commercial informational products about fitness, glamour, muscle building, fashion and fads. Don’t be part of the “herd” unless you want to look, feel, and perform like the “herd”.

      Use books, especially late edition text books on subjects such as nutrition, anatomy, kinesiology, and physiology…especially exercise physiology. You can find excellent information resources at your local public or Uni library or for sale cheap online at Amazon.com and Ebay.com.

      Always follow the science. Use critical thinking. Be skeptical and do not believe anything without cross checking it with trusted sources. Grow your personal knowledge base and everything else will follow with relative ease.

      You have one body and it has to last a lifetime. It’s worth the investment to learn how to care for it properly.

      TIP 2. Don’t micromanage
      Your body is a work in progress. You won’t have your adult body for almost a decade. Don’t try to make changes which may go against nature while nature is developing you physically. Sure, everyone wants to be svelte and fit and so should you. However, you don’t want to try to lose fat, for example, when your body is trying to build muscle unless you are very much over weight. Trying to reduce body fat to 15%, for example, can inhibit the growth of muscle and important tissues. You at the age where eating disorders begin to manifest themselves so avoid obsessing about food, fat, and body image.

      TIP 3. Eat a good and proper diet
      This is easy said than done. Learn to read and understand food labels, count calories, manage macro nutrient ratios, etc. You are what you eat and your long term health and well being are very much dependent on your ability to eat properly for now and the rest of your life.

      TIP 4. Exercise
      Exercise does not have to be work. It can be dancing or walking or swimming or anything that involve low risk, a wider variety of motions and muscle contractions, and elevates your heart rate to 80% of max where max is 230 – your age and sustains it at that level for 20 minutes several times a week. And, build muscle too. Only muscle offers all of the following.
      • Stronger bones & increased mineral density (osteoporosis protection)
      • Stronger body & musculature (improved protection from injury)
      • More robust organic and systemic fitness (more survivable in crisis)
      • Improved cardio-vascular function (better than “cardio”)
      • Higher basal metabolic rate (~5-50 cal/day/pound of muscle)
      • Easier fat loss (more efficient lipid consumption)
      • Greater calorie consumption (prolonged afterburn)
      • Supports body sculpting (hypertrophy)
      • Slows natural loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) over age 30
      • Minimal wear & tear (low risk)
      It only take a couple of hours of hard work to build strength.

      TIP 5. Be happy
      Manage your stress. Keep your reactions in proper proportion, your negative emotions in check, and don’t be a drama queen. Do those things which bring you happiness.

      TIP 6. Use this website.
      Be sure to bookmark it and use it. It’s been recommended by the people your doctor listens to, US National Institute of Health, and has tons of information about your growing and changing body. –> http://teenshealth.org/teen/

      Good luck and good health!!

      PS: Here are some good websites you may find useful.
      • A MUST FOR DIETERS http://www.freedieting.com/
      • BEST DIET TOOL ON THE WEB http://www.myfitnesspal.com/
      • BEST FOODS FOR YOU http://www.choosemyplate.gov/index.html
      • NUTRITION DOT GOV http://www.nal.usda.gov/food-and-nutrition

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    • Hg
    • March 4, 2014
    Reply

    Do These Health Tips Actually Work? 1 apple / day – no doctor
    1 lemon / day – no fat
    1 cup of milk / day – no bone problems
    3 ltrs water / day – no diseases…

    Also what are some losing weight health tips?

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    1. Reply

      No, these health ‘tips’ are actually myths. It’s all very healthy to do that, but no.

      To lose weight, all you can really do is exercise more and eat healthy and try to keep your calories at around 1600 a day. It’s good to drink homemade lemonade that tastes pretty sour and not sweetened very much- it’s good for your metabolism. Tea is good, fruits and vegetables are good. It’s a great time to get active because it’s summer and you’ll sweat more, which is awesome for your body to flush out toxins and such. I like making fruit smoothies and adding spinach or kale (you can’t taste it and it’s so good for your body- not to mention filling). When you snack during the day, only snack on ‘raw’ foods like fruits and vegetables, or maybe a few almonds.

      Good luck!

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