Q: My son is 46 and currently unemployed. Is he required to sign up, and how would he pay for insurance?

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Answer:

Unemployed individuals are encouraged to sign up for health insurance through the Marketplace. Several plans and programs may help unemployed individuals find affordable health insurance coverage and help them avoid the risk of bankruptcy and the individual mandate fee.

However, some people may qualify for a hardship exemption from the fee. If the price your son would have to pay for health insurance exceeds 8 percent of his household income, he can apply for and receive an exemption. Also, he may receive a hardship exemption if he qualifies for Medicaid but he lives in a state that is not expanding their Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.

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Meet the experts to answer the commonly asked questions to help you understand the Health Care Exchange

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Linda V. Tiano

Member of the Firm at Epstein, Becker, and Green in Washington, DC and New York

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David Randall

Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System.

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Marti Lolli

Director of Health Care Reform at Priority Health in Michigan.

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