Enrollment assistance as deadline approaches

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Penalty fee increases yearly if not enrolled.

By Ty-Eshia Johnson

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

With only one month left to enroll for health insurance before the deadline, people are still confused about the Affordable Care Act.

Help in understanding and choosing options from the online marketplace is available on this campus 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday in Candler Physical Education Center.

Those who do not enroll in health care by the end of March will face a penalty.

President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law March 23, 2010, and enrollment began Oct. 1 in the midst of a government shutdown over the program.

Though approved by Congress in 2010, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives tried to force Congress to revisit the law on the eve of its launch.

The federally mandated healthcare program is principally for those who do not have health insurance, but also for those who would like to see if they qualify for lower cost coverage.

With the help of the website, people are able to compare prices based on their adjusted gross income, family size and other factors.

Certified enrollment counselors are available to assist 24/7 by phone or live chat. Counselors are available to take applications in person at several locations in the city, such as libraries, clinics and hospitals.

Go to healthcare.gov to search for nearby locations.

To receive information on the Affordable Care Act and enrollment assistance, Bexar County residents are encouraged to attend a workshop sponsored by Univision, called EnrollSA.

Students up to 26 years old will be able to stay under their parents insurance plan as long as they are claimed as a dependent on their parents taxes.

To have coverage in effect by March 1, applications must be in by Feb. 15.

Those not enrolled by March 31 will be charged a penalty of 1 percent of yearly income or $95 per person, whichever is greater.

Fees per family can climb to $285, and penalties will continue to increase yearly.

For more information, call the Metropolitan Health District at 207-8780.

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