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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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Three Things You Should Know

  1. IHS will continue to provide quality, culturally appropriate services to eligible American Indians and Alaska Natives.
  2. Under the new health care law, everyone is required to maintain minimum essential coverage or pay a fee (known as the shared responsibility payment). Being eligible for IHS services alone does not meet the minimum essential coverage requirement.
    1. If you do not have health insurance coverage and receive care from IHS, you will need to either: (1) sign up for health insurance coverage, (2) pay the shared responsibility payment, or (3) apply for an exemption.
    2. If you have health insurance coverage from your employer that meets the minimum essential coverage requirement, or have other health care coverage (through Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, VA Medical Benefits Package, or TRICARE), you are covered and don't need to worry about paying the shared responsibility payment or enrolling for health coverage available through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
    3. If you are offered and decline health insurance coverage (that meets the minimum essential coverage requirement) from your employer, you must pay the shared responsibility payment or obtain an exemption, if eligible. Members of federally recognized tribes and other individuals who are eligible to receive services from Indian health care providers will have access to a special exemption, but other exemptions are available.
    4. If you are not offered health insurance coverage through your employer or are unemployed, you may be eligible for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. To learn more about health insurance options, please visit Healthcare.gov Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov.
    5. If you are interested in applying for an exemption, please visit Healthcare.gov Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov.
    6. If you have job-based insurance and are interested in changing to Marketplace coverage, you may be able to change to Marketplace coverage but you may not qualify for lower costs on premiums based on income, or you can obtain an exemption from the shared responsibility payment, if eligible. To learn more about your options, please visit Healthcare.gov Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov.
  3. American Indians and Alaska Natives have access to affordable health care coverage options through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You may now be eligible to purchase insurance coverage or determine if you qualify to enroll in Medicaid. If you qualify for and enroll in a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for premium tax credit assistance (which is based on your income) and/or cost sharing waivers (based on being a member of a federally recognized tribe). To find out what you're eligible for, please visit and fill out an application on Healthcare.gov Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov.