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Michelle Obama urges uninsured veterans to look into exchanges

Sep. 30, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
US-POLITICS-OBAMA-MLK-MARCH-ANNIVERSARY
Michelle Obama speaks Aug. 27 at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington. The first lady is urging the nation's 1.3 million uninsured veterans to examine their options on the eve of health insurance exchanges are set to go live on Oct. 1. (Jewel Samad / AFP via Getty Images)
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On the eve of availability of health care insurance through state and federal marketplaces, first lady Michelle Obama is urging the nation’s 1.3 million uninsured veterans to examine their options.

The White House distributed a blog post today from Obama asking veterans to sign up for health insurance, either through the Veterans Affairs Department if they qualify or by purchasing it through the new exchanges.

Uninsured veterans who don’t know whether they qualify for health benefits through VA can call 877-222-VETS or go to the VA website, VA.gov/healthbenefits, for more information.

Those who don’t qualify for VA care, or the estimated 1 million uninsured family members of veterans, can purchase coverage through a health insurance marketplace run by either the state they live in or the federal government. Information on which insurance options are available in each state will be available Oct. 1 at www.HealthCare.gov.

On the site, users will find a variety of plans and their costs. Most coverage will begin Jan. 1.

Failure to buy health insurance will result in a penalty of $95 per adult or 1 percent of household income in 2014. This would rise to $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of household income by 2016. The penalties will be taken out of an individual or family’s tax return.

For more information, VA also sponsors a website explaining the impact of the Affordable Care Act on former troops and families.

“If you don’t have insurance, there’s now a simple way for you and your family to get all of these benefits, along with the coverage you need,” Obama wrote.

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