Nevada Obamacare

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Obamacare Is Not Dead! What Nevada Residents Need to Know About Obamacare for 2018

Open enrollment for 2018 health insurance plans begins November 1, 2017 and ends December 15, 2017.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has not been repealed. You are still required to comply with the ACA and you are still entitled to its benefits.

This website provides information about getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including:

To begin, keep in mind these key points about health insurance in Nevada:

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How To Sign Up for Obamacare in Nevada

To sign up for a health plan under the Affordable Care Act you can go directly to the online health insurance marketplace for Nevada -- or you can get help in person or over the phone.

Where's the Nevada Health Care Exchange?

You can find the health insurance exchange for Nevada at HealthCare.gov. This is where you can learn about the various health insurance options available to you under the Affordable Care Act. If you see a plan you like, you'll be guided through the enrollment process online.

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How Much Does Obamacare Cost in Nevada?

This article explains the costs of health care plans offered under the Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare) for individuals or families who are currently uninsured or not covered by a job-based health plan.

What you'll pay for an Obamacare plan depends on five things:

  1. The level of coverage you choose
  2. Whether you qualify for a subsidy
  3. Where you live in Nevada
  4. Your age
  5. Whether you smoke

Read on to learn more about each of these factors. 

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Do I Have to Get Obamacare in Nevada?

Despite what you may have heard, you can’t be arrested or thrown in jail if you don’t have health insurance in Nevada. You may, however, be forced to pay a tax penalty if you aren't enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

To avoid the penalty, you must either obtain qualified health coverage or prove your eligibility for an exemption.

What Qualifies as Coverage?

If you have any of the following types of health coverage, you won’t have to pay a penalty:

  • an individual insurance plan, whether purchased on your own or through HealthCare.gov, the exchange serving Nevada
  • a plan (including COBRA or a retiree plan) provided by your employer
  • Medicare, Medicaid, or coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) 
  • TRICARE (coverage from the U.S. military)
  • coverage under a veterans health care program  more...  

What to Do If You're Frustrated or Fed Up With Applying for Nevada Obamacare Through HealthCare.gov

As Obamacare enters its open enrollment period for 2018 health plans, those seeking coverage face more chaos than ever. For many Americans, affordable coverage and streamlined enrollment still seem like faraway goals.

Below are a couple of strategies to help you get your health insurance needs met.

Common Complaints from Health Insurance Applicants

The list of complaints from those caught in the health exchange bureaucracy is long, commonly including:

  • the U.S. government doesn't really care about affordable health care for its citizens
  • the current administration is cutting support for help resources -- for example, slashing funding for in-person helpers and reducing hours at healthcare.gov
  • health insurance exchange websites are still buggy or broken
  • phone and chat hold times are unreasonable, and representatives often don’t have helpful answers to questions 
  • applicants can’t easily compare health plan benefits and costs
  • applicants can’t figure out whether their current health care providers are included in the plan they’re considering
  • applicants choose plans only to discover later that they can’t afford them
  • application information isn’t recorded properly (or protected from privacy violations) by the health care exchange
  • exchanges are slow to respond to problems with applications, premium payments, or tax forms, and
  • health insurance plans are sometimes canceled or changed without notice.

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Obamacare and Taxes: What You Need to Know Before You File

Do you have to worry about IRS Forms 1095, 8965, or 8962? The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, requires you to do one of the following three things when you file their taxes this year:

  • confirm they had health insurance coverage for 2016
  • claim an exemption from health coverage, or
  • pay a penalty when they file their return.

This remains true even though the Trump administration has issued an executive order allowing the IRS to accept tax without health insurance disclosures. Under the Affordable Care Act, you are still required to pay any Obamacare tax penalty you owe, and the IRS may question you if you fail to report your health insurance status on your tax return. The new rule does, however, imply that the Trump administration may not aggressively pursue people who don't pay their penalties.

Here’s what you should know about filing your taxes in this confusing era of health insurance reform.

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Understanding Obamacare's Preventive Health Care Benefits

Get a colonoscopy, mammogram, vaccinations, and other essential services for free

The Affordable Care Act requires health insurance plans to offer certain preventive care services free of charge -- or more accurately, for nothing more than the cost of your monthly insurance premiums. This rule applies to most plans sold directly by insurance companies and all plans sold through HealthCare.gov, the health care marketplace for Nevada. Covered preventive services are available for free (meaning no co-pay or other out-of-pocket charges) whether or not you’ve met your plan’s annual deductible.

Tips for Using Your Preventive Care Benefits – And Avoiding Unexpected Charges

Below, you’ll find a list of free preventive benefits -- screening tests, counseling services, and vaccinations -- for adults, women, and kids. But first, here are some pointers to help you avoid an unexpected bill for services you thought were preventive.

Use a network provider. To get a preventive service for free, you must use a health care provider in your insurance plan’s network.

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Nevada Medicaid Expansion: Can I Use Medicaid to Satisfy the Health Insurance Requirement?

One way to satisfy Obamacare’s health insurance requirement is to obtain coverage under Medicaid. If you qualify for Medicaid and enroll in Nevada's Medicaid program, you do not have to sign up for another insurance plan.

It’s Now Easier to Qualify for Medicaid in Nevada

The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid eligibility to cover more people who can’t afford health insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court later decided that it was up to individual states to decide whether or not to expand Medicaid.

Because Nevada did decide to expand its Medicaid program, you can qualify for Medicaid if you earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level. For 2017, 138% of poverty level is about $16,643 for an individual or $33,948 for a family of four.

To find out more about Medicaid, contact the Nevada Medicaid office. You can also find out whether you qualify when you apply for health insurance at HealthCare.gov.

The Medicaid Expansion Threshold: 133% or 138%?

If you have been reading about Medicaid eligibility, you may have noticed that some sources say the threshold has been raised to 133% of the federal poverty level, while others say 138%. It seems confusing, but both are true. The text of the Obamacare law says 133%, but a new way of calculating income means that the practical outcome is you will qualify if you fall below a threshold of 138%. For a full explanation, see the Affordable Care Act FAQs from the American Public Health Association.

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Obamacare for Self-Employed Nevada Residents

Many self-employed people will be quick to tell you that getting and paying for health insurance is one of the biggest hassles they face. But this may change for the better under Obamacare, which provides new coverage options for the self-employed.

Are You Self-Employed or an Employer? 

Before you start evaluating your options for health coverage, you need understand whether you are in fact considered self-employed under Obamacare.

The law says you are self-employed if you are an independent contractor or a sole proprietor without employees. (If you hire other independent contractors to do some work for you, you probably still qualify as self-employed.) Self-employed people can use the new health care marketplace to purchase individual health insurance plans.

If you have employees – usually, workers whose income you report on a W-2 at the end of the year -- you’re considered an employer. In that case, you can learn about purchasing health insurance for yourself and your employees through the SHOP Marketplace.

If you aren’t sure whether the people who work for you are independent contractors or employees, read "Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee?" on the IRS website.

What Obamacare Means for Self-Employed People in Nevada

Here are six things self-employed people should know about the Obamacare health insurance reforms:

  1. You must have health insurance, unless you are legally exempt. If you don't, you may have to pay a tax penalty. There are limited exceptions to this rule.
  2. You can't be denied coverage or charged more because of pre-existing health conditions. If you've been turned down or priced out in the past, you should have new options for coverage under Obamacare. more...  
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How Obamacare Affects Unemployed Nevada Residents

The difficulties of unemployment are often compounded by the lack or loss of health insurance. But millions of Americans who are currently without both a job and health coverage may find relief under Obamacare. That's because new coverage options are now available through HealthCare.gov, the health insurance marketplace serving Nevada.

All plans available through the marketplace offer essential medical benefits, including preventive care, emergency services, and prescription drug coverage. You can't be turned away if you have a pre-existing medical condition and, as an unemployed person, you probably qualify for significant cost-saving subsidies.

When you sign up for a marketplace health plan, your coverage can start within a few weeks. Usually, you must sign up during an open enrollment period. But leaving your job and losing job-based health insurance makes you eligible for a special enrollment period. That means you'll have 60 days to sign up for a new health plan. 

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What Domestic Partners Need to Know About Applying for Health Insurance Under Obamacare

When registered domestic partners or civil union partners apply for coverage in the new health insurance marketplace, there’s one question that almost always arises: Do we apply based on our separate incomes, or must we include all the income we make as a couple?

The answer depends on the state where you live.

States other than California, Nevada, or Washington. In almost all states, registered domestic partners or civil union partners who apply for insurance via the state’s health insurance exchange must do so separately. Each partner includes only his or her separate income, and this amount determines health plan costs and eligibility for cost-saving subsidies. It works this way because domestic partners are not considered married for federal tax purposes. (If you registered first and got legally married later, this article doesn't apply to you. You must apply as a married person and report your combined income.)

California, Nevada, or Washington. In these states, which extend community property laws to registered domestic partners, domestic partners must usually apply using half of the partners’ combined incomes. (We confirmed this with the legal department at Covered California after repeatedly receiving conflicting information from representatives staffing the exchange’s customer service phone line.) This is because IRS rules require that domestic partners registered in these community property states report half of their combined community income on their federal taxes each year.

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Obamacare and Seniors

If you’re over the age of 65, your health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act depend on whether or not you’re covered by Medicare or another insurance plan. To find out what, if anything, you need to do, find the situation below that applies to you.

You have Medicare. If you’re already enrolled in Medicare, you’re considered covered under the ACA, and you don’t have to do anything. In fact, it’s illegal for someone who knows you have Medicare to try to sell you a plan through a health care marketplace.

The Affordable Care Act enhances your existing Medicare coverage in a couple of important ways:

  • You get more preventive care benefits, such as cancer screenings and an annual wellness visit.
  • If you fall into the prescription drug “donut hole,” there are new discounts to help you save money until the hole closes completely in 2020.

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Can I Use a Paper Application to Get Obamacare?

When Obamacare launched, the federal and state health insurance marketplaces (also called “exchanges”) were plagued by technical troubles. Many people who tried to sign up for new health insurance plans online in the early days were unable to complete their applications.

Because of these difficulties, some individuals and application assistants turned to the old-fashioned way of getting health insurance -- paper applications.

Applying on Paper May Not Be Better or Faster

When facing a slow or broken online health insurance exchange, using a paper application may seem tempting -- at least it would provide the feeling of getting something done. However, paper forms may not speed up the process at all. On the contrary, they could slow down your application even more.

The worker who reviews your paper application must manually enter the information from your forms into the same system you would use online at your state’s exchange. It won’t work any faster for them than it does for you. Plus, using a paper application opens up more opportunity for error by putting more people between you and your goal of getting insurance.

It’s still best to apply online if you can. That said, if you feel that you’re unlikely to come back and apply for health insurance later, you may want to go ahead and complete a paper application now. Follow these steps to apply on paper.

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About This Website

We built this website to get people the answers they need about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Our goal is to guide you to reliable, local information about your new health insurance options.

When you choose your state or enter your zip code above, you will quickly learn:

  • whether or not you're required to get health insurance

  • what the available plans cover

  • how much coverage will cost, and

  • how to sign up in your state.

For those concerned about cost, we show you how to determine whether you qualify for subsidies. We also explain the rules about expanded Medicaid eligibility.

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