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Health Insurance for You, for Your Family

Filed Under:
Publication Number: IS1991
View as PDF: IS1991.pdf

No one plans on getting sick or hurt, but it happens, and it costs …

Health insurance can help protect your family from potentially large expenses.

The new health insurance law, known as the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare), might offer new possibilities for you and your family.

What do I need to know?

  • A Marketplace for purchasing insurance has been established.
  • The Marketplace may be able to reduce the cost of insurance for you and your family.
  • If you are not insured, you might have to pay a penalty if you do not get insurance.

A broken leg can cost $20,000 or more.

The wonderful new baby might come with a bill for $30,000 or more.

Breast cancer could leave you facing medical expenses of $100,000 or more.

Who is eligible?

  • U.S. citizens or legal immigrants
  • Currently uninsured people


  • People who have unaffordable or inadequate employer-provided insurance 

What’s included?

  • Doctor visits, outpatient care, and hospitalizations
  • Emergency services
  • Maternity, newborn, and pediatric care
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Preventive and wellness care
  • Chronic disease management
  • Laboratory services
  • Prescription drugs
  • Vision and dental care for children
  • Rehabilitative services

Do I qualify for help paying for the monthly insurance premiums?
Financial assistance is based on the amount of your family income. You might be eligible for help paying part of the premium if your income is in the following range:

  • Individual: 2016 income between $11,770 and $47,080
  • Family of 4: 2016 income between $24,250 and $97,000
  • Family of 6: 2016 income between $32,750 and $130,280
    (income ranges change annually)

What about penalties for not having insurance?
Under the new law, if you are without health insurance for 3 or more months, you might have to pay a fine based upon your family size and income.

  • For the 2015 tax year, the fine can be a maximum of $975.
  • For the 2016 tax year, the fine can be a maximum of $2,085.
Insurance papers

To enroll or get additional information, you may
call 1-800-318-2596
(TTY 1-855-889-4325)
or visit

If you prefer one-on-one, local assistance from someone who is specially trained to help you understand your choices, determine available financial support, and enroll, you may call one of the following:

For a more complete list of locally available help, please visit:


Information Sheet 1991 (POD-10-15)
By Bonnie Carew, PhD, Rural Health Program Leader, Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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