The Family’s Guide to the Affordable Care Act

This is a sponsored post, however, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for helping to support my family.

As a mom, one of the most important things is keeping your children safe and healthy, right? Maybe you don’t have health care yet, or maybe you’re not sure where to get started. I mean, we hear all about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the news and media everywhere, but do you really know what it means for YOU, or where you can get more information, or to start the enrollment process?

If not, you’ve come to the right place!

Understanding the Affordable Care Act - Baby Doodah

The Basics

Let’s start with the basics. I want to help you realize what is available, so that when you go to the enroll you know what you’re looking for.

Since, our concern is our children first, let’s look at what is available to them with the ACA.

When it comes to the ACA, where you fall when it comes to coverage is based primarily on your income. So depending on what you (& your spouse) make, your child(ren) could be eligible for Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP, or you may also hear it referred to as Child Health Plus) or Children’s Medicaid. The bottom line here, your child should NOT go without health insurance.

Children’s Health Insurance Program and Children’s Medicaid

The rules for qualification for CHIP are pretty straight forward, your child must be under the age of 19 and fit into the income brackets that are set forth by the government.

Children’s Medicaid does not have a monthly premium associated with it, so the income guidelines are lower, however, even if you make more than the Medicaid guidelines, your child will be eligible for CHIP.

See the income bracket below to determine where your child would fall.

CHIP and Medicaid Income Guidelines

Click on the picture to view larger.

When you apply for CHIP or Children’s Medicaid you’ll be doing it directly through the New York State of Health Exchange, and if you don’t live in New York State you can actually start the whole application process through websites like UnitedHealthcare’s. It’s a pretty simple and straight forward process –  You begin by entering your age and zip code, and then it has you fill in some additional identifying information, as well as allow you to add on additional people (so, your spouse, and/or your children).

One note, this is not the formal enrollment process. It does ask you for an estimate on your household income. This is because it will provide you with the information where you should fall, based on that income you’ve provided. However, once you get into the formal application, you will need to provide concrete information, which could lead to a change in what you’re eligible for. It shouldn’t fluctuate much, I just wanted to give you a head’s up (unless your estimate is hugely off).

Medal Level Plans and Adult’s Medicaid

Now that we have your child(ren) covered, we need to you get insured as well. Thankfully, if you’ve already been following the application process so far, you don’t need to do much else in order to determine what you’re eligible for.

The medal levels are, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum – The cost and benefits associated with each go up from bronze.

When you enter your income, the system will take that into account, as it does for you child. If you are eligible for Adult’s Medicaid, it will advise you of that. However, if you are above in the income brackets for Medicaid, the choice is yours!

Obviously if you visit the doctor frequently, or believe that you will need to, the higher the medal level you will want to go. You may pay more each month for your premium, but you won’t have high copays / co-insurances / deductibles.

Below are the income guidelines for Adult Medicaid

Affordable Care Act - Adult Medicaid Income Guidlines - Baby Doodah

Click on the picture to view larger.

 You can read more about each medal level by clicking here.

The goal here is to get everyone affordable health insurance. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, there are still credits available to you via the government. My recommendation is to start the enrollment process now, to learn what you’re eligible for.

Health Insurance can be a highly confusing thing. If you don’t understand the terms or just aren’t really sure where to start, I want to help! I’ve been working in health insurance for the past 8 years, and have a pretty wide knowledge – so please feel free to ask away in the comments.

Understanding the Affordable Care Act - Baby Doodah (1)

Additional Resources:
Health Insurance Exchange 101
Shopping for Health Insurance
Health Insurance Definitions and Terms

Your turn!

Have you personally enrolled in health insurance via the Exchange? If so, what was your experience?

When in comes to health insurance, what other questions do you have? I’d love to help you understand all there is to know!

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Turn It Up Tuesday – #71

Welcome to another week of Turn It Up Tuesday! Last week, we had so many amazing posts! Thanks for sharing with us!

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Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time!

Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this blog hop the best that it could be!

SPONSOR OF THE MONTH

Ida at Second Chances Girl

Second Chances Girl

Ida is a mom of one, step-mom of two lifestyle blogger from Miami. She blogs about her second chance at life, love and family!

Are you looking to get your blog or website in front of numerous people per week? Do you enjoy Turn It Up Tuesdays? Interested in having your blog or website featured for an entire month?
Then, sponsor Turn It Up Tuesday for a month by clicking here! It’s only $5 for an entire month!

 

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

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(from the top – left to right)

Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | Jessica from The Wondering Brain | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | April from April Noelle | Ce Ce from A Chicago Mom | Yolanda from That’s Mashed Up | Kelly from Making-More | Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly | Tiffany from MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter | Cindy from Mom Maven | Melissa from The Coupon Chronicles | Rhonda from Mother 2 Mother | Nancy from Afro-Chic Mompreneur | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Jillian from Baby Doodah | Chelsea from Mommie and Wee | Tenns from New Mama Diaries

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for January!

This is the last week for our January guest hosts…but we loved having them join us this month! Hope to see you all again soon!

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(from the top – left to right)

Brittney from His Wife. Their Mommy. | Chantale from Virtually A Teacher | Tianna from Love and Laughter | Zografia from Bisozozo | Stacy from Anastasia Vintage| Elaine from Ramblings of a Bad Domestic Goddess | Nancy from The Family Bucket List | Rose from What Rose Knows | Tina from The Happy Creations

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly co-hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis. We’re now accepting guest hosts for February and March.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

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Tina chose Red Velvet Bundt Cake from A Simple Pantry. “Looks stunning and yummy, a perfect cake for Valentines Day. Thanks for sharing.”

Autism

Mari chose Why I Tried to Fight Autism (But Learned to Accept it) from Amber Kristine. “Amber, thanks to her for sharing her honest feelings about something a lot of people still don’t fully understand, including me. Thank you for the light education.”

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Mari also chose Skinny Raspberry Cheesecake Cups from Annie’s Noms. “Thanks to Annie for sharing such a cute tasty treat. I love cheesecake and this seems like a good way to share the love.”

Natasha also chose this post. “I am so incredibly addicted to cheesecake…and this recipe looks absolutely delicious!”

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Ce Ce chose DIY Candy Wrapper Coin Purse from My Newest Addiction. “Love this DIY, it’s a great project to work on with the kids!”

Introvert

Nancy chose Living Life as an Introvert from Amber Kristine. “As an introvert myself, Amber Kristine really captures the essence of what it’s like to live as an introvert.”

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Cathy chose Chocolate Time!/Hershey’s Mason Jars Valentine’s Day Gifts from Chocolate and Sunshine. “Adorable jars! These are perfect for special friends, co-workers and teacher gifts!”

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Zografia chose How To Make An Easy Transfer From Blogger To WordPress from Barbie Bieber and Beyond. “I finally decided to move to wordpress and this is a piece of advice i will keep in mind during the transfer.”

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Rose chose Homemade Buffalo Sauce from Growing Up Gabel. “I had no idea that buffalo sauce was so easy to make at home. Now that I’m no longer afraid to eat butter, I’m going to try this recipe with some grass-fed butter! Buffalo sauce is my favorite condiment so I imagine I will be making this on a regular basis!”

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Elaine chose English Muffins from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us. “I love English Muffins and with my new obsession of bread making it seemed the perfect choice.”

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Rhonda chose An Open Letter to My Daughters from Barbie Bieber and Beyond. “As a mother of a daughter this letter brought back memories for me. I have spoken these words to my daughter on many occasion and I too hold them deep in my heart.”

Decadent-Brownie-Trifle-by-Wanda-Ann

Stacey chose Individual Decadent Brownie Trifles from Memories By The Mile. “As many know, I am a huge brownie junkie! These look absolutely divine! I could seriously make and hog the whole batch, and keep them all to myself! Thank you so much for sharing!”

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Tiffany chose Teach Your Child Empathy in 3 Simple Ways from Simply Lindsey Loo. “I love this post because this is something I am trying to teach my children daily. To feel for others and not only themselves. LindseyLoo gives some really great and simple tips to help any parent get there.”

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Jillian chose If You Need A Homeschool Planner If You Are Figuring Out Your Own Curriculum? Dynamic Reader Question from Lina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus. “My son will be leaving day care to stay home with me, soon. I want to be sure he continues learning as much as he was in the classroom, while he’s home with me. I’ve been wondering about curriculum for his age and this post starts taking me down that path.”

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Tenns chose Valentine’s Day M&M Mason Jar Gift from Three Kids and a Fish. “I love this idea for Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day! Its sweet, simple, and oh so cute. These little favors are so versatile, the perfect little something to give some on the day of love!”

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Chantale chose 10 Creative Ideas for Organizing Your Craft Room from Typically Simple. “I can relate to the walking into a craft store with the intention to buy one thing and walking out with so much more! What a great collection of organization solutions and ideas for craft supplies!”

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The post with the most clicks is Matching Sisters from No Bohn’s About It.

Stop by and show some love to our featured bloggers this week! I’m sure they’d all appreciate it!

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

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And the Best of the Best is…

Decadent-Brownie-Trifle-by-Wanda-Ann

Individual Decadent Brownie Trifles from Memories By The Mile

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10 Creative Ideas for Organizing Your Craft Room from Typically Simple

Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!

As the Best of the Best, you win free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures for 30 days! Please showcase the badge below with pride on your blog!

Please send an e-mail to Natasha at 1EpicMommy@gmail.com and she will provide you with all the details for the free ad space!

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Our very own lovely and amazing Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise is hosting a great giveaway this month and some of us are co-hosting, so we’d love to feature it here for all of you! Enter to win cash in the Romantic Cash Giveaway – you could win up to $500! Three winners will be chosen! There’s only a couple more days left – so enter today!

Enter to win here!

Romantic Cash Giveaway

So now that you’ve met our Sponsor for the month, our hosts and guest hosts, our Featured and the Best of the Best, and the Romantic Cash giveaway,

let’s get started!

*Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.

*Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!

*Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!

*Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!

Epic Mommy Adventures

 

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Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

**Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**




Interested in reading all of our favorite posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays – past or present? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter’s board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.

Fail Forward – No Sugar No Grains

Have you heard of the No Sugar, No Grains lifestyle? How about Vinnie Tortorich? Maybe Fitness Confidential?

If you haven’t heard of any of those three things, that’s okay – you don’t need to. I’m almost hopeful that you don’t know any of the three. That means I get to introduce you to a whole new way of living healthfully! And that’s awesome! I’m going to share a lot of information about them. And, I’m really excited to do so, let’s get started!

My Struggle is Real

For at least 19 years, I’ve knowingly struggled with my eating. I have no idea why, or where it started, I just remember struggling to keep my eating under control. I was a serial dieter. One fad diet after another, I even found success with many of them, losing up to 75 lbs at one point – but, I never managed to keep it off. I always looked at my diet as “only temporary,” and “only until I lose the weight.” Those two statements right there are part of the MUCH bigger reason I never stuck to a diet. However, I want you to know, that despite struggling with my weight, in the past and currently, you CAN find your happy place when it comes to your food.

Fail Forward - No Sugar No Grains

Don’t Let Those Resolutions Waiver

We’re nearing the end of January, this is about when people’s resolutions begin to waiver. People start to give up on their goals, or stop believing in themselves. If you listed one of your goals as losing weight or getting healthy, I want to help you get past this hump and keep moving. Trust me, it IS possible!!

For the last 20 days, I’ve been following the No Sugar No Grains (NSNG) diet, created by Vinnie Tortorich. I’m not an expert yet, but I am seeing great results, and Seamus actually started following this means of eating about 3 months ago and has had amazing success. He’s lost 68 lbs, by simply giving up ALL sugar and ALL grains. He does workout, but because of a bad back, he’s currently only walking 4 to 5 days a week. Nothing overly intense, and yet he’s still losing weight!

With most diets, they encourage you to eat low-fat / low calorie. To eat small portions and stay below a certain (small) number of calories. People succeed, but they often feel restricted, which can in turn lead to the binge / guilt cycle. That doesn’t need to happen, you can have yummy, delicious cream in your coffee, or eat real bacon, and not turkey bacon (unless you prefer turkey bacon).

Here’s why I am loving NSNG, I am NEVER starving. In fact, I rarely think about food, unless I’ve gone too long without eating. Because I’m giving myself the fat it needs to work properly, and getting my carbs through healthy veg, I don’t obsess over when my next meal is. It’s an amazing feeling, freeing a part of your brain that has always stressed/obsessed/worried about food. NSNG is a true lifestyle change, it’s not a temporary fix, it’s  something that you stick with and (honestly) will want to stick with.

There are some added benefits, beyond just losing weight, and I am losing weight (6.7 lbs in 20 days). Giving up gluten can have a HUGE impact on your mental clarity. I often stuttered and struggled to find the right words when I spoke, now I feel clear and like I’m not stumbling over my words. Removing sugar (and sugar substitutes) has also helped, by keeping my blood sugar stable, so I don’t have the peeks and valleys (rushes and crashes), that I once did. I feel a sustained amount of energy all day long, and it feels great. And, the best part? My body is having an easier time fighting the depression I suffer from.

There’s no greater reason than that to follow NSNG. Losing weight is wonderful, but if I still hate life, then it’s pointless.

Maybe you’re thinking, I can’t do this – I just can’t give up pasta/bread/soda/cookies, etc – that’s okay! Maybe try giving up just one of those things, and doing that for awhile, until you feel strong and confident in your ability to say no, then maybe remove something else, so on and so forth.

And, if you just aren’t interested in following an NSNG lifestyle, that’s okay. Please know, you can still be successful, you just need to put your mind to it!

Fail Forward - No Sugar No Grains - Baby Doodah

In Conclusion

In future posts, I’m going to talk to you about how we got started with NSNG and provide you with some tips on how to prepare for NSNG if you’ve been eating whatever you want for awhile.

If you’re interested in learning more about NSNG, or maybe you want to start following this lifestyle – Vinnie Tortorich has an amazing book Fitness Confidential and a self-titled podcast, that I would recommend checking out.

Additional reading

Snack Ideas: 10 No Sugar, No Grain Snacks – From Family Sport Life
Recipes: Gluten Free Anna (Anna is Vinnie’s co-host on his podcast, and her recipes are out of this world!)
Article: No Sugar, No Grains: Is This the Key to Long-Term Health?

Posts About My Frequent Failing Forward

I have Binge Eating Disorder
What it’s like on a daily basis, struggling with Binge Eating Disorder
What Someone with Binge Eating Disorder Really Looks Like
Coping with Binge Eating Disorder & the Loneliness of Having the Disorder
Why I Decided to Be Bold and Come Clean About my Binge Eating Struggles
Enough with the Lies Regarding Food Consumption
How I’m Working to Say NO to the Binge

Your Turn!

What are you failing forward with, this year? 

Have you ever followed the NSNG lifestyle? Did you have success? Share your secrets in the comments below!

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Looking for a quick, easy and FREE way to get your news? Check-out theSkimm and sign-up for your daily email box delivery of the world’s news, plus if you share your birthday, you get it listed at the bottom of the newsletter on your day. It’s like celebrating with thousands of people!!!!

This post may contain affiliate links. This does not change the cost for you, simply helps to provide for my family. Thank you!

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