SOCIAL/CIVIC. Questions are swarming around the upcoming health care changes. I did some research and, with the help of Dr. Russ Willis (USM!), am able to provide some FYI. There should be some useful information, below.

These are some of the important things to know:

As of January 1, 2014, there is an individual mandate to have health insurance.

The employer mandate to provide health insurance to employees in organizations with 50 or more employees has been delayed until January 1, 2015.

If your income is below a certain level, you will get help with paying the premium of the health insurance plan you choose on the health insurance market place exchanges. Your help paying will come in the form of tax subsidies.  (Exchanges are simply websites that a person can access to buy health insurance.)

The amount of help a person will get is based on their income and what kind of plan they choose.  However, if your income is below the following amounts, you will get, at least, some help with paying the premiums.  The assistance, though, comes through in the form of tax subsidies when the individual files their income tax return each year.

These levels are:           Individual- Below $45,960
Family of Two- Below $62,040
Family of Three- $78,120
Family of Four- $94,200
Family of Five- $110,280
Family of Six- $126,360
Family of Seven- $142,440
Family of Eight- $158,520

Actual insurers will vary from state to state.  Types of plans and costs will vary from state to state as well.

The health care exchanges will be available October 1, 2013.  An individual who does not have health insurance, must enroll in a plan during open enrollment between 10-1-2013 and 2-28-2014 (or pay the penalty).

The penalty for not having insurance is as follows:
In 2014, $95 per adult and $47.50 per child up to $285, or 1% of family income, whichever is greater.

In 2015, $325 per adult and $162.50 per child up to $975, or 2% of family income, whichever is greater.

In 2016, $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, up to $2,085, or 2.5% of family income, whichever is greater.

This link may be helpful to you: