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Medical Care Coverage [USA]

ObamaCare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, reforms the health insurance industry and the American health care system as a whole. The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in March 2010 and takes effect Jan 1, 2014.

The new law requires all Americans to have health insurance by 2014 (or pay a tax penalty). The new law applies to US citizens as well as to Permanent Residents, i.e. those who hold Green Cards.

The Affordable Care Act reforms the way we buy health insurance requiring that all Americans purchase a private health care plan, get an exemption, or pay 1% – 2.5% of their taxable income or a set amount. Americans who cannot afford health insurance will most likely either qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP or get assistance in the form of tax credits or assistance with up-front costs through their State’s Health Insurance Exchange.

To find out what your health plan options are the Health Insurance Marketplace or “Exchange” has been created.


The 2015 Marketplace is a way to find health coverage that fits your budget and meets your needs. With one application, you can see all your options and enroll.

When you use the Health Insurance Marketplace, you’ll fill out an application and find out if you can get lower costs on your monthly premiums for private insurance plans. You’ll find out if you qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs.

The Marketplace will also tell you if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage available through Medicaid.

Here are the most important dates for 2015 coverage:

December 31, 2014: Date when all 2014 Marketplace coverage ends, no matter when you enrolled

January 1, 2015: The date 2015 coverage can start if you enrolled by December 15, 2014, or if you accepted automatic enrollment in your 2014 plan or a similar plan

February 15, 2015: The last day to enroll in 2015 coverage. If you miss this deadline, you can’t sign up for a health plan inside or outside the Marketplace for the rest of 2015. The only exception is if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

You can apply for Marketplace coverage three ways: online, by mail, or in-person with the help of a Navigator or other qualified helper. Telephone help and online chat will be available 24/7 to help you complete your application.

The Health Insurance Marketplace is sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange.”

Compare options in the Health Insurance Marketplace

Private companies offer insurance plans in the Marketplace, and they cover the same core set of benefits called essential health benefits. No plan can turn you away or charge you more because you have an illness or medical condition. They must cover treatments for these conditions. Plans can’t charge women more than men for the same plan.

Learn about the Marketplace in your state

While private companies offer all insurance plans, either your state or the federal government runs the Marketplace. Find out if your state is operating the Marketplace by using the menu at the bottom of this page. If your state runs the Marketplace, you’ll get health coverage through your state’s website, not this one.

The Marketplace simplifies getting health coverage

The Marketplace simplifies your search for health coverage by gathering the options available in your area in one place. You can compare plans based on price, benefits, quality, and other features important to you before you make a choice. You can also get help online, by phone, by chat, or in person. Call 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)

Click on the link below.

A federal government website managed by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244

Additional Resources

The FPMT North American Region has set up a Care Committee whose goal is to explore ways of providing care and funding for aging sangha and teachers within the FPMT. Members of the Care Committee have set up the following resources.

If an IMI sangha member is having trouble with a diagnosis, medical information question or needs help with a medical referral there is a FREE MEDICAL NUMBER you can call.

If any IMI member has specific questions about Obamacare and the new Health Insurance Exchanges or with specific insurance needs in the US there is a FREE INSURANCE NUMBER you can call.

For further information on how to contact these resources please contact