With the March 31 deadline approaching for all Americans to have access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Mountain Projects is hosting a free seminar Saturday, March 1 to explain and review how the ACA may impact health care coverage for individuals and businesses. This free seminar will review the individual mandate in detail, discussing the benefits, the penalties, and the tax implications.
Beginning in 2014, every U.S. resident will be required by law to have health care coverage or pay a tax penalty. Macon County Certified Healthcare Navigator Cynthia Solesbee will provide a basic overview of the law, followed by a brief discussion of the program's new requirements, along with some of the plans available for consumers, small business employers, and employees of small business. Solesbee represents Mountain Projects, the nonprofit community action agency responsible for Head Start and many other programs which provide vital services to the elderly, disadvantaged and general public throughout Western North Carolina.
Jeff Cloer of Wayah Insurance Agency in Franklin will be on hand to explain the open enrollment period and present information on the specific Blue Cross Blue Shield plans available to consumers. "Folks are so concerned about avoiding a penalty," said Cloer, "but they should be more interested in how inexpensive insurance coverage is available under the Affordable Care Act. It doesn't cost anything to check it out and see what plans they are qualified for. But most people are surprised at the low cost." Following the program, Cloer will be available to answer questions regarding the various plans and advise individuals on registering for the ACA.
Considering the new tax penalties included in the Affordable Care Act, Jeff Butler of Liberty Tax Service in Franklin will explain the tax ramifications facing consumers under the new law. Experts estimate that many people who may not currently file a tax return will now be required to do so in order to claim the available health care tax credits under the ACA.
Linda Tyler of Franklin's Community Care Clinic (CCC) will explain the role of the free clinic under the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act, for those consumers whose income is so far below the poverty line that they don't qualify for the subsidies to purchase healthcare coverage in North Carolina.
The free seminar, open to the public, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, March 1, in the meeting room at the Macon County Public Library. The program is sponsored by Mountain Projects, the Macon County Public Library, Liberty Tax Service and Wayah Insurance of Franklin.
For more information, contact Liberty Tax Service at (828)524-1300 or Cynthia Solesbee of Mountain Projects at (828)400-4177.