Affordable Care Act — ObamaCare — to be explained at next month’s Paris City Council meeting

eParisExtra logoParis Mayor AJ Hashmi announced at the end of last week’s Paris City Council meeting that representatives will be at the Jan. 13 council meeting to explain the Affordable Care Act and help citizens get coverage.

Circle the date, Hashmi said.

“After that meeting, they are going to arrange meetings at the library for people to go onto the Internet and get themselves famililarized with what it is and what they have to do or don’t have to do,” Hashmi said.

affordable health care logoIt is the law, so people need to get familiarized with it. So I would request that anyone who wants to know about health care to please come to the council meeting in January so that their questions can be answered,” the mayor said.

There’s an important deadline today (Monday, Dec. 23) for anyone wishing to be covered by the Affordable Care Act when it goes into effect in January. They should go to the online marketplace — HealthCare.Gov — and enroll today.

Today’s deadline is only for those who are uninsured, and there is no penalty for not meeting today’s deadline. It is only the deadline for those who want to ensure they will have their insurance by Jan. 1.

The earliest anyone not signed up by today would be eligible for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is March 30.

Anyone without health insurance by March 30 will be forced to pay a fine when they file their 2015 income taxes.

For the first year, the penalty is either $95 or 1 percent of the person’s annual salary.

If someone doesn’t have health insurance by the second year, the penalty increases to $395 and by the third year it grows to $695.

When the online marketplace launched on Oct. 1, the site was so inundated with people those in need were out of luck.

The latest numbers released from the federal government show as of Nov. 30 less than 5 percent of Texans successfully enrolled and chose a plan under the Affordable Care Act.

 By Charles Richards, eParisExtra


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About the Author

Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.