January 1, 2013...the Federal Government requires it's citizens to purchase health insurance or suffer a "tax" penalty that will be assessed from your tax returns starting in 2015. What is the Individual Mandate? A requirement to purchase qualified health insurance or be "taxed" 1% of your gross income. If you make $9500 per year or less...the penalty will be $95 for a single person.
The government is pushing citizens to utilize the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) www.healthcare.gov as the site to purchase health insurance. DO slow down and investigate if you will qualify for a subsidy. The purchase of health insurance can and does still take place outside the FFM. The FFM IS the site if you qualify for a subsidy from the government to purchase health insurance. But receiving a subsidy is not as simple as they make it out to be and we recommend only using this site if you are SURE you will qualify for a subsidy.
The FFM will not help you with your insurance issues after you purchase health insurance. They will send you to the FFM call center, Navigators, or Certified Application Counselor's for assistance with the website application...but they cannot help you with the decision on which plan is best for you or with issues with your insurance company...you are on your own.
Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act
Healthcare Reform Timeline (Kaiser Family Foundation)
Employer Exchange Notice Information (Dept of Labor)
Employer Notice (for those offering health insurance)
Employer Notice (for those NOT offering health insurance)