For two years now, I have been trying to find out how I will be affected by the new health care law. Well, finally this week I received a letter from the Veterans Administration informing me not to worry, my great health care delivered by them will not be affected. That was in the first paragraph and that is what is inferred by a recent article in the Bradenton Herald.
That is the short answer. Here is what the second paragraph in my VA letter told me if I don't have health insurance policy coverage.
If I do not maintain a "minimum essential coverage" (their words) I will have to pay a yearly fine of a flat rate, or 2.5 percent of my taxable income, whichever is greater. And here is the best part, it reads, for my convenience I can pay my fine when I file my tax returns.
For all the years I have been out of the Navy, I have received my health care from the VA at no expense to me. This was what was promised to me when I entered service and when I exited it.
With all these different levels of coverage, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, each group has many layers of coverage you can select from at various cost levels. Let's say you select the most affordable level, which is the bronze, and you select the most expensive level of bronze for the best coverage in that category, and even that policy will only cover 60 percent of your bill -- who pays the other 40 percent. This is the fine print that is buried under thousands of pages in the law. Here is what I am pretty sure of -- I will be responsible for the other 40 percent.