New Year Means Affordable Care Act Insurance Takes Effect -

New Year Means Affordable Care Act Insurance Takes Effect

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Health care coverage is taking effect this new year for some people enrolled in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nicole Stanfield is a “certified navigator” for NC Med Assist in Charlotte. She helps people enroll in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act.

“It was really busy these last few weeks," she said.

Stanfield says starting now in the new year patients who enrolled in the Affordable Care Act by Dec. 23 can actually put those plans to use at a doctor’s office for the first time. Dr. Andrew Mueller with Novant Health says the hospital system has been preparing for the coverage to kick in this year by training 80 employees on the ins and outs of the ACA so they can help patients.

“I think they should get ready just like they would for any doctor’s appointment, Mueller said, "so I think certainly they’re going to want to have their insurance information.”

If you need to go to the doctor and you’ve already signed up for a plan and you don’t yet have a card, Stanfield says you can call your insurance provider, ask for your policy number and then take that with you to the office.

Those who do not get health insurance by March 31 will face a penalty, unless they are exempt because of your income. That exemption applies to people who make less than $11,490 annually. Stanfield says some clients have been surprised they qualify for coverage.

“There are some people who may come in and find out there’s good news," she said "and they don’t know that it’s there.”

NC Med Assist is holding a One Day Enrollment January 11 at 601 East 5th St. in Uptown Charlotte from 10-3 p.m. You can call 1-855-733-3711 for an appointment.

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