Why you need insurance coverage:
By accessing affordable health insurance through the new marketplace, more contract health funding is available to provide resources for the entire American Indian and Alaska Native community. Essentially, the contract dollars will go further because other health care costs will be provided by insurance coverage that was often unattainable before the new health care insurance reform law.
Because the IHS is an agency in place to provide health care services, it is dependent on funding and typically does not receive enough to provide American Indian and Alaska Natives with the resources to meet all of their health care needs. By acquiring health care insurance coverage through the new Health Care Marketplace, or other health services like Medicaid, you have access to additional services the IHS may not provide. Furthermore, if you do purchase insurance through the Marketplace, you can continue to receive services from the IHS and other tribal or urban Indian health care programs.
Are there penalties for American Indians or Alaska Natives who do not wish to purchase insurance coverage?
No. As members of federally recognized tribes or those eligible for services through IHS service providers, you qualify for an exemption from the individual shared payment, or fee, for choosing not to purchase insurance.