Affordable Care Act Information

Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the law requires all Americans to obtain health care coverage through an employer, an individual health plan or programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Program (Florida KidCare) unless they meet an exemption. Individuals, who do not meet an exemption and fail to obtain coverage, may be subject to a tax assessment.

On Oct. 1, 2013, the federal government opened the Marketplace where individuals can compare and shop for health care coverage. Each year an open enrollment period will take place for individuals who are seeking Marketplace coverage. Medicaid and Florida KidCare enrollment takes place year-round. If a person applies at the Marketplace and is found potentially eligible for Medicaid or Florida KidCare, their application will be sent to the appropriate agency for processing. The ACA also provides cost sharing and tax credits to assist low-income qualified individuals in purchasing health insurance through the Marketplace.

Changes to Medicaid Eligibility

The ACA made significant changes to the eligibility criteria for Family Related Medicaid groups and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP – commonly referred to as KidCare). On Jan. 1, 2014, the new rules for Medicaid and KidCare eligibility went into effect. Eligibility is based on IRS rules governing an individual’s tax household and income.

In Florida, an individual must be a child, the parent or caretaker of a child, pregnant, aged, blind,disabled or a young adult under age 26 who aged out of the foster care system to be eligible for Medicaid.

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