No health insurance may cause students penalties

By Feb. 15, students without healthcare coverage will be penalized on their income tax return.

“You’re going to pay income tax at some point out there, and they ask you, where’s your health insurance? And if you don’t then you have to pay a penalty. So healthcare in that sense is now tied to the IRS,” said Midland State Farm Agent Eddy Ohlenburg.

This is a reality United States residents will face in February, but there are some exceptions that students can apply for if they do not have the coverage they need, and with some determined searching and clicking on the site healthcare.gov, they can be found.

According to the site, exceptions include: being uninsured for less than three months of the year, not having availability to coverage that costless than eight percent of the resident’s household income, belonging to a federally recognized religious sect with religious objections to insurance and being incarcerated (either detained or jailed).

Other exceptions can be found at healthcare.gov.

There are also subsidies (financial aid) students can apply for if they cannot afford healthcare on their own which can also be found on the website.

When asked about subsidies, Ohlenburg said, “You’ll need to go into that website so you’ll have an idea if the government is going to subsidize your health insurance plan, because you only make so much money a year, and the answer is, they will, I just don’t know how much.”

How will the fine be given?

A simple charge on income taxes will be taken out that will progressively increase year after year without coverage.

The first penalty will either be two percent of the resident’s income, or $325 per adult ($162.50 per child) whichever is higher.

A person could get out of the penalty by not filing income taxes, but as evidenced by mobster Al Capone, that may prove to be a poor decision.

Former MC student Ronnie Griffith is a single, uninsured resident working at the local Walmart. When told he was going to be fined on Feb. 15, he said, “I don’t think it’s fair because people work hard for their money, and they deserve to have it at the end of the year.”

Residents will be considered covered if they have any job-based insurance, any plan bought for themselves, Medicare, Medicaid or other kinds of coverage.

Former MC Director of Student Life Tana Baker referenced a Transamerica Student Security Plan brochure, available to any college student. She recently changed jobs to become an MC counselor.

There are three separate plans MC students can sign up for with benefits such as daily in-hospital, emergency room sickness, surgical, anesthesia, ambulance and other protection benefits.

Rates can be found in the Transamerica brochure, and can be as low as $25 a month, or as high as $596 a month, depending on age, dependents and the plan you choose. Any full or part-time student who is registered and attending a participating college or university is eligible to enroll.

The student’s spouse and dependent children up to age 25 are also eligible to enroll.

The coverage will become effective the first of the month and is yet another option for the required healthcare every American will need.

Students may visit any MC counselor for information on the brochure and reference it for more information on the requirements to sign up for the security plan.

 

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