The Obama Administration announced new changes to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act that could impact Alaska Natives and American Indians. The nation’s new health care law required every American to demonstrate health coverage beginning January 1, 2014, or pay a tax penalty to the federal government.
American Indian and Alaska Native people are exempt from this tax penalty if they can provide evidence that they are 1) a shareholder of an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) village or regional corporation, or 2) enrolled in a federally recognized tribe. Realizing that not all Alaska Native people fall within either category, the Obama administration issued a final rule on June 26 exempting American Indians and Alaska Natives who are eligible to receive services from an Indian health care provider, such as the Indian Health Service (IHS), from the tax penalty if they do not maintain minimum essential health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
For more information on the Affordable Care Act, visit www.healthcare.gov or email [email protected] The final rule is available at www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection.