If you are a Minnesota Power customer, your electric bill could go up greatly in less than a year. How much? For most people, the increase in their bills could be as much as $150 to $200 a year or more. If electricity is included in your rent, your rent could go up.
Most Minnesotans are lucky enough to have healthcare coverage where they work, but many others have to make do some other way. Those below a certain income level can get covered by one of the public health care programs, Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare. Those outside of the programs' eligibility limits have to find commercial insurance.
You might have heard the deadline was Jan. 31 to sign up for health coverage if you don't already have it. That is half-true; some people won't be able to sign up for coverage for the rest of the year, now that the deadline has passed. However, others still can. Are you in luck or out of it?
It's that shopping time of the year again: Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas presents and ... health coverage. That last one isn't as fun as the others, but it's important and lasts a whole year. How to shop? There are different strokes for different folks. If you are on Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare, your coverage and benefits are in place. However, if your card says "UCare" on the top, you need to pick a different health plan to continue your coverage on Jan. 1. If you don't pick one, one will be picked for you.
Aug. 14 is the 80th anniversary of when Social Security was signed into law. It is the most popular program ever created in this country. Almost 1 in 5 Americans depend on its payments, including more than 16 million children, as well as the elderly and people with disabilities.
The Citizens Federation invites everyone to celebrate this July 30. It is the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid, created to provide affordable health care for America's elderly, disabled and low-income people. These programs are incredibly important to our country; one-third of all Americans use them. Medicaid, besides providing health coverage for low-income families, also pays for most of the long-term nursing home care in our country. Medicare, which everyone can look forward to receiving when they turn 65, covers 55 million people.
Did you get an unpleasant surprise when preparing your income tax return for 2014, in the form of a penalty for not buying insurance? The term the IRS uses is "shared responsibility payment." Sounds better than "tax penalty," right? You might well be surprised, since this is the first time this new penalty has appeared. You get the penalty if you should have been able to afford to buy health insurance in 2014, but you chose not to buy it for all or part of the year.
Lots of people wait until the last minute to do certain things, whether it's Christmas shopping or filing taxes. It's part of human nature. The deadline comes up and they say, "OK, I'll finally do it now." Well, here's another deadline to put on your radar: Feb. 15. That's the date by which you're supposed to make sure you have some kind of health care coverage. What kind? If you currently don't have any coverage, then you either should get onto one of the state's public programs like Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare or onto an insurance policy.
Now through Dec. 15 is the key time to sign up for health coverage that will begin Jan. 1, 2015. If you don't get it from your employer, then you should use the state's MNsure system to sign up. You can do this all on your own by visiting this website at www.mnsure.org . Or, you can do it by getting personal help from a "Navigator" in the Duluth area who will help you through the process. This goes for people who don't have any insurance at all, as well as for those who currently have an individual or family policy which you bought on your own.
Don’t have any health insurance? Now is the time to take advantage of the new coverage available to you from the federal health care reform known as the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” We’ve all heard the scary, negative misinformation about “Obama-care.” However, the coverage that people can get from the new law is actually a big improvement for many. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you can finally get accepted onto insurance for the first time. No one need worry anymore about being kicked off of insurance, if you develop an expensive sickness.