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Text provided by staff writers of The Palm Beach Post

What do I have to do?

Beginning Jan. 1, everyone will have to have health insurance. Policies must include what the government considers minimum essential benefits. People without health insurance, with some exceptions, must pay a penalty when they file their tax return in 2015.

The basics on getting insured in the new marketplaces

Where to go: Choose your state from the list at Healthcare.gov to apply for coverage or compare plans. 

When: Open enrollment starts Oct. 1 and runs through March 31, 2014

What happens:

  1. Fill out an application.
  2. The government gives you options and helps you compare coverage and costs (including deductibles, premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.)
  3. You decide whether to enroll and, if so, pick a plan.
  4. You enroll.

Here’s how the health care law could affect you:

Important information about health plan choices

When you compare marketplace insurance plans, they're put into four categories based on how you and the plan share the costs of care. Click here to find out more.

Am I covered?

You won’t pay a penalty if you meet one of these conditions.

Fees

If you’re not insured in 2014, you’ll have to pay a fee on your 2015 federal income tax return. What are the fees?

Who doesn't have to pay the fee?

Uninsured people won't have to pay a fee if they meet one of these conditions.

I have insurance through my employer

You’re covered for 2014 as long as you have minimum essential benefits. Your employer should let you know in re-enrollment papers. Can I shop the marketplace rates anyway?

I'm on Medicare

Medicare benefits have expanded under the health care law. Find out what additional benefits you may receive.

I have a chronic disease

Starting in 2014, being sick won't keep you from getting health coverage. An insurance company can't turn you down or charge you more because of your condition. Are there any exceptions?

How can I tell if I qualify for Medicaid?

Each state has different rules about who qualifies for Medicaid. Click here to find out if you qualify.

I don’t qualify for Medicaid, but I can’t afford health insurance

In 2014, an individual making up to about $45,000, or a family of 4 making up to about $94,000, may qualify for lower costs under the Affordable Care Act. Click here to see if you qualify for a subsidy.

I am a veteran

If you are enrolled in (or are a beneficiary of) any of these programs, you’re considered to have minimum essential coverage under the health care law.

I am responsible for a child without insurance

There are several options available. Click here to see if your child qualifies.

I am an immigrant

To be eligible for health coverage through the marketplace, you must meet these qualifications.

I am an American citizen living abroad

Generally, health insurance coverage in the marketplace covers health care provided by doctors, hospitals, and medical services within the United States. Find out more here.

I own a business with 50 or fewer employees

If you offer insurance coverage now, you can keep your plan. You also can offer a plan through the Small Business Health Options Program, which could qualify you for tax credits. Find out more.

I am self employed

If you have no employees, you can shop for insurance at healthcare.gov starting Oct. 1 and possibly qualify for lower costs. Find out more.

Sources: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Kaiser Family Foundation, Palm Beach County Health Care District, Florida Department of Children and Families, Palm Beach Post staff research

The Latest News Headlines

  • Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today. What to know now: 1. Monuments removed: Workers in New Orleans began removing Confederate monuments around the city early Monday. Trucks arrived around 1:30 a.m. at the first of four monuments the city is taking down. City officials say some protesting the removal of the statues have made death threats. According to The Associated Press, workers inspecting one of the monuments before it was to be removed were wearing flak jackets and helmets. 2. Arkansas executions: Arkansas plans to execute two people on Monday night, the first double execution to take place in the United States in more than 16 years. If the executions take place, Jack Jones and Marcel Williams, both convicted of murder, would be the second and third inmates put to death in the state this month. Arkansas officials say they intend to execute eight inmates before the end of the month when one of the drugs it uses for lethal injections expires. 3. O’Reilly’s podcast: Bill O’Reilly, the ousted Fox News commentator, will resume his “No Spin News” podcast on Monday, according to an announcement on his personal website. The podcast is set for 7 p.m. and is available to premium subscribers of his website. Fox dropped O’Reilly last week after he was accused of sexual harassment by a number of women. 4. A busy week: Saturday marks President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, and this week could be one of the toughest for the administration. The president has promised to unveil an outline of proposed tax cuts, to work to push along a new health care bill and to manage a budget deadline that could shut down the government on Friday. Trump is also expected to sign an executive order on energy this week. 5. Moran dies: Erin Moran, who played Joanie Cunningham on the 1970’s show “Happy Days,” died over the weekend. Moran was found dead on Saturday in Corydon, Indiana. No cause of death was given, and an autopsy is planned. Moran was 56. And one more Former President Barack Obama will make his first public appearance since leaving office in January when he speaks to university students Monday in Chicago. According to a spokesman for Obama, he plans to begin a series of speeches across the United States and in Europe.  In case you missed it   
  • Firefighters have contained a large wildfire at 80 percent Saturday in a Southside Jacksonville neighborhood, the Florida Forest Service said. The wildfire burned 14 acres in the area of Atlantic Boulevard and Leon Road, said area fire supervisor for Duval County Victor Taylor. No homes have been damaged but up to fifteen homes were threatened by the fire. Five bulldozers were dispatched, the Florida Forest Service said. A Florida Forest Service helicopter poured 11 buckets of water on top of the fire. All lanes of Anniston Road between Atlantic Boulevard and Fraser Road were closed due to the wildfire, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. The lanes are now reopened. Jacksonville fire rescue said eight engines, five tankers, three brush tanks, three chiefs and one rescue chief were at the scene
  • Two men are arrested in a brazen Fort Caroline shooting in broad daylight. Jacksonville police have arrested 19 year-old Terry Campbell and 24 year-old Michael Butler on charges of attempted murder. Police were in the area of Townshend and Fort Caroline working undercover Wednesday afternoon when they heard gunshots. According to a police report, Campbell fired shots from a black pistol at Butler.  They say a blue Chevrolet Impala then drove up and Butler began shooting at Campbell.  Police say Campbell fled on foot and Butler fled in the Chevrolet Impala. No one was hurt.
  • The 31 mayoral appointees let go by Mayor Alvin Brown will be getting one last check.  The former city workers will be getting in all more than $400,000.The appointees who were let go had saved a good amount of unused leave time.  The Times-Union reporting the city of Jacksonville will be writing checks to buy the unused leave time and it’ll average out to $13,976.  Some city workers will be getting checks for more than $50,000.Some employers have a policy in place that sick time, vacation days and personal days either get used up by the end of the year or you lose them.  The city doesn’t have that policy, but they do cap the amount of leave time you can save, it’s around 12 weeks.  That maximum is usually only obtained by workers who have a long tenure with the city.  It’s a different policy all together for police officers and fire fighters.In this case you have city workers who have been let go, and are getting back almost a third of what they made yearly.There hasn’t been much change to the policy; Mayor John Peyton was the last to tweak it.  Peyton told appointees he would not let them stay on the city books and run off their unused leave time.  The former city workers running off their time now were there prior to that change.Despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars that will have to be paid off some city lawmakers are not all that interested in changing the way the current rules are written.
  • As the Congress returns to work in Washington, D.C. after a two week break, lawmakers in both parties face a series of unsettled political battlegrounds, one of which could bring about a government shutdown by the end of the week, as President Trump and Republican leaders in the Congress grapple with the budget, money for their priorities, and unanswered questions on major issues like health reform. Here’s a snapshot as we begin the week in the nation’s capital. 1. Will the government shutdown on Friday night? That will be the biggest question as lawmakers return to legislative work sessions in the House and Senate this week. A temporary budget plan runs out at midnight on Friday April 28, and the Congress can either enact a short term extension, come to a deal on funding through the end of September (the end of the fiscal year), or get locked in a partisan struggle and do nothing, which would mean a shutdown. Negotiations have been going on for weeks, with flash points over funding for a border wall, money for the Obama health law, a bigger budget for the military and more. One thing to note – a number of Republicans would rather avoid a shutdown in the short term. .@marcorubio: 'We cannot shut down the government right now' pic.twitter.com/ET3J926ZfM — Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) April 23, 2017 2. One big conflict – money for the border wall. During the campaign, President Donald Trump would get a huge response from his crowds by asking who would pay for a wall along the southern U.S. border. “Mexico!” was the deafening response. But that’s not the way it’s going to work out, as Mr. Trump needs money from Congress to start construction work on the wall. Democrats have made clear they’re not interested in helping in this plan to finish the budget for 2017. Why does the President need the support of Democrats? Because there are expected to be Republicans who won’t vote for a government funding measure for a variety of reasons. Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2017 3. Republicans still struggling for health care deal. Over the break, the White House and GOP kept making noise about edging their way closer to a deal on a health care overhaul bill, something that President Trump and GOP leaders made a central promise in the 2016 campaign. But while there have been long distance discussions, there still is a lot of room between more moderate Republicans and more conservative members of the Freedom Caucus on the issue. Mr. Trump last week made clear that he would like to see action this week in the House, but that seems unlikely, as other matters are certainly higher up on the agenda at this point. House Speaker Paul Ryan tells GOP members House will focus on avoiding a government shutdown, not health care vote… https://t.co/KSWOkMSk0U — livenews (@livechannelfeed) April 24, 2017 4. Trump ready to unveil basics of tax reform plan. As if a government shutdown threat, the fight over money for the border wall, and the maneuvering over the health care deal isn’t enough, President Trump may add tax reform to the Legislative Stew this week as well. Mr. Trump said on Friday that he would be announcing his tax reform plan on Wednesday – a declaration that reports indicated caught his staff somewhat by surprise. It’s not expected that the White House will be sending a complete plan to the Congress with all the legislative text, but rather just the bullet points of what they want. As for Democrats, they say they will not give any votes to the GOP on tax reform, until they see the President’s tax returns – saying they want to know how any tax changes would impact Mr. Trump’s personal bottom line. We need to see @realDonaldTrump’s tax returns to know how any proposal for reform would affect him personally. #MTP — Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) April 23, 2017 5. This week takes us through the first 100 days of Trump. The idea of judging a President by the first hundred days in office has always struck me as sort of arbitrary. You highlight your successes, puff up what you haven’t yet achieved, and try to paper over your false starts. President Trump has been grumbling of late about the whole concept, but his campaign certainly was more than happy to make big pledges for his first 100 days in office. In an interview with the Associated Press last week, Mr. Trump was asked if he should be “held accountable” to that 100-day plan. “Somebody, yeah, somebody put out the concept of a hundred day plan. But yeah. Well, I’m mostly there on most items,” he answered. If you look at the graphic below – produced by the Trump Campaign, and tweeted out by the candidate in October 2016, you will see ten items all ending in “Act” – as in, a law passed by the Congress. None of those things have made it into law as yet. April 29 marks 100 days. My contract with the American voter will restore honesty, accountability & CHANGE to Washington! #DrainTheSwamp pic.twitter.com/sbVwctT1Sj — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2016 It is possible that President Trump will mark his 100th day in office with a government shutdown. We’ll see if that happens. The Senate is back on Monday. The House returns on Tuesday. Friday is the funding deadline. Pro tip: Last minute surprises are great for kids' birthday parties, not so much for funding the government. #sassywithmassie — Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 24, 2017

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