Help is Available Locally for People Who Enrolled in the Affordable Care Act

Published 12:12 pm Monday, February 9, 2015

The 2014 tax filing season has arrived and many changes are coming for people living in North Carolina.

The changes in filing will be especially affect people who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

A press release from the non-partisan initiative NC Get Covered states:

“New tax requirements will affect more than 300,000 North Carolinians who obtained financial assistance through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace last year and who are required to file 2014 federal income tax returns. Those who were uninsured and did not claim an exemption on the Marketplace may be able to avoid a tax penalty by claiming exemptions on their federal tax returns,” reads a portion of the release.

Lee Dixon, Project Director at NC Get Covered, mentioned more detail regarding the possible tax exemptions in regards to the Affordable Care Act.

“Some families and individuals may eligible for an exemption. The exemption might be that they did not earn enough income. There are other exemptions like if you were subject to eviction, foreclosure, or a death in the family last year. There are religious exemptions as well,” said Dixon.

Dixon mentioned official statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services stating that only 15 percent of the people enrolling in the Affordable Care Act live in zip codes that are designated rural.

“That might be a backwards way of saying that most people enrolling seem to be from urban areas and not from rural. Someone living in a rural area might however be interested in some of the tax exemptions available,” said Dixon.

Dixon said that people are able to get more informational assistance regarding health insurance enrollment by visiting

Lisa DiFilippo is a Certified Marketplace Navigator, with Access East,Inc. She provides assistance regarding health insurance enrollment in Currituck,Dare, Hyde, and Tyrrell Counties.

DiFilippo mentioned thus far she has met with 14 people at the Hyde Department of Social Services and six people in Ocracoke, bringing the total to 20 in Hyde County.  She has met with nine people in Tyrrell County.

“People usually come to me with many questions.  Some of the most common are do they qualify?  What do they need to bring to the appointment? What will the penalties be for them if they do not enroll, and will they really have to pay them?  For the people that are computer savvy, there is an estimator button on the marketplace website ( that says “See Plans and Prices” where a person can easily find out where they will fall as far as eligibility by just putting in their zip code, annual income and age,” said DiFilippo.
DiFilippo mentioned that she can help people with estimated costs at the beginning of an appointment so that they have a good idea of the outcome before going through the whole application process, which takes about an hour.
DiFilippo has appointments available on a weekly basis in both counties.   She is at the public library in Columbia in Tyrrell County every Wednesday from 11am-3pm.
“At all locations I take walk-in consumers on a first-come first-serve basis, but appointments are recommended.  Appointments can be made by calling me directly at 252-216-6623 or on-line at,” said DiFilippo.