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Health Insurance Marketplace Set to Open Tomorrow

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act on the horizon, the Health Insurance Marketplace is set to open October 1st and provide people without health insurance or who purchase their own to browse more options for insurance.

The marketplace, found online at www.healthcare.gov, has a simple step-by-step enrollment process that asks you some basic information to provide you with options for different levels of coverage. Depending on your current level of coverage, your marital status, and which state you live in, your options will be tailored specifically to you.

There are some penalties that will apply if a person who can afford health coverage through the marketplace decides not to purchase a plan, and those fees would take effect during the following year at the time of your tax filing. In 2014, it would be $95 (or 1% of your yearly income) for every adult. That would increase to a 2% fee in 2015, and a 2.5% fee in 2016 (about $695). However, some waivers to those fees are available. You have until the end of the first open enrollment period (March 31st, 2014) to enroll without incurring fees.

For more information on how to enroll, you can visit www.healthcare.gov, or call 1-800-318-2596 for a 24-hour hotline.

There are several other organizations in Linn County where you can access resources for how to get enrolled:

Linn County Public Health - (319) 892-6000
Linn Community Care - (319) 730-7300
HACAP - (319) 393-7811
Community Health Free Clinic - (319) 363-0416
United Way - (319) 398-5372