Navigating Obamacare signup ahead of the deadline - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Navigating Obamacare signup ahead of the deadline

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Monday is the deadline for the uninsured to apply for health care if they want coverage to being by Jan. 1. It's one of the mandates for the Affordable Care Act.

The process to sign up has been a point of contention for the law's opponents. It's a process Brad Pickens knows well.

"I login as my user, as an agent, and start their application," he said.

Pickens works for South Carolina Blue helps people determine if they are eligible for a subsidy, the first step in signing up under the Affordable Care Act. On Thursday, Pickens helped ABC News 4's Bill BUrr.

"If you are eligible through work, you don't qualify for a subsidy," Pickens said.

For Burr, the exercise was just a demonstration, but Pickens describes the process of helping consumers who need to apply for either private health insurance or medical coverage through Healthcare.gov.

"These are just basic questions about your income," Pickens said, reading through the application. "Where does your income come from? Does it come from a job? Self employed? Social security? Unemployment? Capital gains?"

The name of a person's employer and income level are also asked, among other questions. Pickens  says if a person's job status changes, he needs to tell the federal exchange on the website.

"If you lose a job, or if you get another job making more money, that's going to affect your eligibility, let them know," Pickens said. 

Healthcare.gov calculated that Burr was eligible for a $55 per month subsidy, or $660 per year, but not everyone qualifies.

"It just depends on how you want to do it. But you can divide it up and use it as a tax credit at the end of the year or apply it to multiple policies," Pickens said.

At that point, Pickens says a person can choose one of four plans, which will help anyone younger than age 65 qualify for medical coverage by Jan. 1.


  • Bill Burr

    Email: bburr@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile




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