Affordable Care Act Resources

Affordable Care Act Resources

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by Don Ingwerson

March 31st is just around the corner and for anyone who still has questions about the Affordable Care Act, I thought these resource links posted by the Federal Committee on Publication office may be helpful:

The christianscience.com website

Third-party websites

If you review the above resources and still have questions…

Armed With Spiritual Clarity on Capitol Hill

Armed With Spiritual Clarity on Capitol Hill

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by Don Ingwerson

For today’s blog I wanted to share with you a new metaphysical article from the Federal Committee on Publication site. This blog is about a December trip that Christian Scientists from Delaware took to visit Capitol Hill to talk to their representatives about a legislative effort  to promote an exemption to purchase health insurance as required by the Affordable Care Act. Josephine Bayard, an interior designer and owner of Plain and Fancy Interiors in Wilmington, initially felt a strong resistance to making the trip. She writes about how she worked through her sense of “I didn’t want to go” and ended up finishing the day thinking, “I’m glad I went.” This article can be found here: From “I didn’t want to go to I’m glad I went”: armed with spiritual clarity on Capitol Hill and is written by Josephine Bayard.

I didn’t want to go.

For so long I had felt inadequate, uninformed, and unwilling to try to represent Christian Science publicly. Finally, Christ broke through that resistance with the thought that Mrs. Eddy asked members to show up for various assignments on short notice regardless of their resume, obligations at home, or lack of self-confidence. I have always admired those early workers and now it was my turn.

Alfred Farlow’s metaphysical points were surprisingly relevant in 2013! His mention of fairness and justice struck me as all that we are asking of our legislators in their provisions for Christian Scientists. Considering our Constitution, fairness and justice are not too much to ask, and this strengthened my resolve and confidence in our mission.

His reminders to stay awake did keep me focused when my mind wandered during discussion of political ramifications. I could feel myself beginning to daydream about the artistry of the architecture, and lovely lunch we had shared. Very quickly Farlow’s words came to me, “my usefulness to the Cause is in proportion to my wakefulness.”

In preparing for the day, I noticed the story of the man healed of a withered hand in the lesson. I felt the Christ calling me to “stand forth” – stand up for what I knew to be the Truth, and “stretch forth” – extend my conviction beyond my comfort zone, trusting the Comforter, in the zone of divine Love, to govern man. Bearing witness to the patience and persistence of the Federal Office as it performs its vital work with our Congressmen and women, was evidence that the restoration of justice and fairness was and is going on.

The idea that “angels are God’s representatives” (see p. 299 ofScience and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy) stayed with me that day as we watched the members of the House of Representatives voting and networking with each other. It was a precious opportunity to see government, prayer, and the Christ in action.

As a church member and constituent of my state, I look on that day with great gratitude for Christian Scientists working in Boston and Washington, and for our elected officials, committed to getting it right. There was definitely the presence of Mind in our meetings, and obvious prayerful preparation, leading to a collegial meeting and a successful result.

I’m glad I went.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About California’s Health Insurance Marketplace

Frequently Asked Questions About California's Health Insurance Marketplace

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by Don Ingwerson

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has led to the creation of state health insurance marketplaces. California’s marketplace is called Covered California and is designed to be an easy way for someone shopping for health insurance to compare benefits and costs. Covered California has a webpage with frequently asked questions about this marketplace, including when insurance is available, what type of insurance is available, what the insurance will cover, assistance programs to help defray the cost of insurance, to name just a few. Click on this link to find answers to your questions about Covered California: Frequently Asked Questions

ACA Penalty Does Not Kick in Until March 31, 2014

ACA Penalty Does Not Kick in Until March 31, 2014

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This new information from the Federal Office was just posted January 14, 2014 and I thought it would be helpful to pass it along to my readers here in Southern California. As noted previously, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this year (2014) virtually all Americans will need to either have a medical health insurance plan that meets federal requirements, or pay a tax penalty. (Those who are enrolled in Medicare Part A or another government health plan will be treated as complying with the law; those enrolled in an employer-sponsored health plan should check with their employer to confirm whether the plan is ACA-compliant.)

Individuals who do not obtain the required health insurance may be subject to a penalty. Note that if an individual enrolls in a qualifying plan by March 31, s/he will not have to pay the penalty.

How does this timing relate to the ongoing efforts of the U.S. Federal Office to find a resolution for Christian Scientists under the law? 

The March 31 deadline provides Congress with an extended window to finalize a legislative solution in Congress that would enable those with sincerely held religious beliefs against purchasing the required medical insurance to apply for a 2014 exemption. We’re hoping Congress will act on this solution by March 31.

There is strong bipartisan support for the solution among Members of Congress. (207 Representatives; 27 Senators.) Tremendous thanks is due in large part to the ongoing efforts of Christian Scientists throughout the country!  However, we continue to need your help NOW!

  • Let us know if you will be in Washington, DC soon and would like to meet with your representative to engage with him/her on this issue.
  • Find out whether your representative will be at a local event in your area, and let us know—it could be an excellent opportunity for church members to ask or thank the representative for his/her support!

As always, please periodically visit this website for updates; and if you hear your family, friends, or fellow branch church members wondering about this topic, encourage them to check out the resources on our website and to subscribe to the Federal Office newsletter!

 

2014 ACA Decision Flow Chart for Christian Scientists

This is the year that the Affordable Care Act takes effect, and I thought this flow chart from the Federal Office might help anyone needing some guidance on insurance. This information is found here: 2014 ACA decision flow chart for Christian Scientists.

Beginning in 2014, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), virtually all Americans will need to have a medical health insurance plan that meets federal requirements, or pay a tax penalty. So, like other Americans, Christian Scientists must think through their options under the ACA and how to comply with the law.

Looking for some guidance as you think through your options regarding the health care reform law in 2014? Check out this flow chart we’ve created for informational purposes (the Church does not provide legal advice).

If you don’t have qualifying or any coverage and would like to purchase a plan, you can visit your state’s online health insurance marketplace to see what your options are and enroll.

You may also want to check out our ACA FAQs and ACA Resources page.

ACA flow chart

Links found in the chart

General information about the ACA: healthcare.gov

Information about the penalty for not having qualifying coverage: http://bit.ly/13Beo2R

Information about Medicare, including your enrollment status: medicare.gov

Information about subsidies and the financial hardship exemption: healthcare.gov/exemptions/

The Church does not provide legal advice. This page is for informational purposes only.

Featured photo

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Important ACA Updates

Important ACA Updates

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by Don Ingwerson

Beginning in 2014, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), virtually all Americans will need to have a medical health insurance plan that meets federal requirements, or pay a tax penalty. (Those who are enrolled in Medicare or another government health plan will be treated as complying with the law; those enrolled in an employer-sponsored health plan should check with their employer to confirm whether the plan is ACA-compliant.) So, like other Americans, Christian Scientists must think through their options under the ACA and how to comply with the law. This information, from the Federal Committee on Publication office, provides some helpful information to understand and plan for these health care requirements:

Christian Science coverage not included in state exchanges for 2014

As you know, over the past two years, the U.S. Federal Office has diligently worked to secure the inclusion of Christian Science health care services in health insurance plans offered at the state insurance marketplaces. We are deeply grateful for governmental receptivity to insurance coverage of this kind.

However, because of the time crunch that insurance carriers experienced due to state and federal governmental delays, it ultimately was not possible for Christian Science health care services to be included in the state exchanges for 2014.

Congressional exemption solution still uncertain

The U.S. Federal Office continues to pursue a legislative solution with Congress that would enable those with sincerely held religious beliefs against purchasing the required medical insurance to apply for an exemption.

There is strong support for this solution among Members of Congress; however, we cannot guarantee that Congress will act on the legislation this year. As always, please consult our website for periodic updates, and let us know if you’d like to help with these efforts!

2014 ACA decision flow chart

Looking for some guidance as you think through your options regarding the health care reform law in 2014? Check out this flow chart we’ve created for informational purposes (the Church does not provide legal advice).

Update: Who Covers Christian Science Care

Update: Who Covers Christian Science Care

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by Don Ingwerson

Each year I post the current information on who covers Christian Science care – information that the Federal Committee on Publication office has been collecting for the past several years. Here is their latest information:

Various U.S. federal, state, and private health insurance plans provide for the reimbursement of Christian Science nursing care and practitioner treatment. The U.S. Federal Office is actively working to increase the availability of insurance options that cover these types of care. Seventeen Christian Science nursing facilities across the United States are Medicare providers. (Find out which ones from the Commission for Accreditation of Christian Science Nursing Organizations/Facilities, Inc.)

Christian Science services qualify as tax-deductible medical expenses under Section 213(d) of the IRS code. Check out our article on health savings accounts (HSAs) for more information.

By clicking on the links below, you can find a sampling of insurance plans we have on record that accommodate Christian Science care.

If you are aware of other plans we haven’t listed, please be in touch with our Federal office.

Does the health insurance plan offered by your employer not include Christian Science care services? Write to your employer to ask that Christian Science care services be included as a covered benefit!

Ensuring Health

Ensuring Health

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Model used for illustrative purposes

A guest post written by Ginny Nilsen

When I recently saw a San Gabriel Valley Tribune article about insurance, it reminded me of when I told my parents that I was discontinuing my health insurance. I felt that my study of Christian Science was giving me an understanding of God that was meeting all my human needs – including my health care. But when my parents heard of my decision, they were very worried because I had experienced many health problems while growing up. My mother felt powerless as she saw the ineffectiveness of pursuing health from the medical model, and yet she continued to rely on this model to give me some kind of comfort and relief from disease, suffering, and pain.

Thankfully, As a young adult I had been learning in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, about a God who is not just loving, but Love itself; a God who is self-existent and knows only good; a God who created man in his image and likeness where man is completely innocent, pure, and whole. It was also giving me the way to defend myself mentally and feel God’s protection in all ways. I found this truth indeed set me free of any limiting sense of health, peace, purpose, and confidence.

I first became fully aware of this freedom when a feeling came over me that caused me to take stock. I had never felt that feeling before. I thought, “Oh, this is what confidence feels like!” Another clear instance of freedom came when I started out the front door to get the mail. My thought was so free of anxiety, fear, heaviness, or imaginings that I found myself running. I had long hated running – it was so hard and uncomfortable. But here I was, running freely to the mailbox. I loved it. It felt great. From then on I took almost daily runs until I switched to water aerobics. The freedom from self-consciousness and the fullness of a God-consciousness and prayer is totally satisfying.

Health is such a built-in state of consciousness as reflected by divine Law, God. The same is true for all of God’s qualities such as happiness, intelligence, discernment, and listening. I am so grateful for the understanding of God that Christian Science gives and the understanding that health, peace, and brotherhood for all is not only ensured, it is guaranteed.

Mandatory Insurance and Christian Science Care

Mandatory Insurance and Christian Science Care

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Model used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

The media is continually informing Americans about the upcoming requirement to purchase health insurance. Yet, many find confusing information when searching for what’s available. I found the Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association website interesting as Executive Director Janiva Toler gathers information relating to healthcare insurance and Christian Science in, “Healthcare Answers: Insurance Companies and Christian Science Care.” I hope you also find this information helpful!

No Rate Shock for Exchange

No Rate Shock for Exchange

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by Don Ingwerson

In an effort to keep you informed as to the progress of ACA (Affordable Care Act), I have included a link to an article on the latest information on California’s Health Insurance Exchange: California’s Health Insurance Exchange Sets Plans, Premiums; No ‘Rate Shock.’ Experts had warned that this new exchange, once established, would have considerably higher costs, which so far has not happened. There are 13 plans selected and within the article you click on a link to look up your own region to see what plans and premiums are available. The article further explains when new details will emerge over the summer.