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You and the Affordable Care Act


The insurance requirements of the health reform law, also called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, took effect January 1, 2014. If you currently do not have health insurance or if you might lose your health insurance, it is important to learn about this law now. Beginning January 2014, most US citizens and legal residents were required by law to have health insurance. If you do not have insurance, the federal government may require you to pay a penalty each year when you file your federal income taxes. This penalty will increase for each year you remain uninsured.

Although you need to know about the Affordable Care Act if you want to keep from paying penalties, this law might be a chance to help your entire family. Under the law, you and your family might be eligible for government assistance in the form of Medicaid, low-cost insurance or tax credits that are applied to the cost of your insurance premiums.

Certified application counselors can help you sign up for insurance. They can help you learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace and walk you through the application process. Another company that employs certified application counselors has placed a counselor here at St. Jude to offer help.

Health Insurance Marketplace

  • If you do not already have health coverage, the Health Insurance Marketplace is a way to find and buy health insurance that fits your budget and meets your needs.
  • You can sign up during the open enrollment period. The open enrollment period usually starts toward the end of each calendar year and lasts for a few months. During that period, you may sign up for coverage for the following year.
  • A change in your life might make you eligible to enroll outside the open enrollment period. Examples of qualifying life events are moving to a new state, certain changes in your income, and changes in your family size (such as getting married, divorced, or having a baby). Visit this webpage to find out more about getting coverage outside of open enrollment:
  • In the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can view and compare health insurance options online.
  • With one simple application (form), you can fit those options to your needs. Based on your income, you can find out if you can get financial help to lower your costs.
  • The same form will let you find out if you and your family members might qualify for free or low-cost insurance coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • All this information is offered online, but you can apply 4 ways: online, by phone, by mail, or with the help of a certified application counselor, like the one stationed at St. Jude. To reach the counselor, call 901-595-2670 or email
  • To learn more on your own, visit or call the Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. Calls will be answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325.
  • No matter where you live, there will be a Health Insurance Marketplace in your state. Each Marketplace will offer insurance plans from private companies, where you will be able to compare your health coverage options based on price, benefits, quality, and other features that are important to you.
  • Health Insurance Marketplaces will be operated by your state, the federal government or a partnership of the 2. Each will give you the same access to all of your Marketplace insurance coverage options.

Benefits of the law for your family

  • Each health plan must offer a core set of essential health benefits like doctor visits, preventive care, maternity care, hospital care, prescription drugs, laboratory services, and more.
  • Health insurance companies selling plans through the Marketplace cannot deny you coverage or charge you more if you have a pre-existing health condition. They also cannot charge women and men different amounts based on their gender.
  • Parents will be able to keep their children on their health plans until age 26. Check with the insurance company about how this works.
  • Insurance companies cannot deny insurance coverage to those who are already sick or have a medical condition. They also cannot say that they will not cover the illness or medical condition.
  • Insurance companies cannot cancel your insurance when you get sick (as long as your insurance bill is paid).
  • Insurance companies cannot put lifetime limits on the dollar amount of your medical coverage for the core set of essential health benefits (as long as your insurance bill is paid).


To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how you can get insurance, you may call the certified application counselor (who is not a St. Jude employee but is located at St. Jude). Dial 901-595-2670 or email You can also visit or call the Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).