NewsOne Now Audio Podcast: ACA Open Enrollment Deadline Approaches


Deadline Approaches For Healthcare Enrollment. HHS Secretary Explains How To Avoid Penalties

Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell joined Roland Martin Thursday on “NewsOne Now” to discuss this year’s Affordable Care Act open enrollment deadline. The last day to sign up for healthcare coverage is and avoid a penalty is Sunday, February 15, 2015.

According the Burwell about 10 million Americans can signed up for health care coverage during the open enrollment period and have been either new signups or part of the re-enrollment coming back from last year.

In the event that you do not sign up for a Qualified Health Plan there is a penalty. Burwell explained the tax penalty in 2015 for failure to sign up for health coverage is $235 or 2 percent of your taxable.

Sec. Burwell encouraged viewers to enroll on or before Feb. 15 to avoid penalties and said there would not be another open enrollment period until the Fall. “If you have a special circumstance, you have a child, you change your job, you move state to state, there is a special enrollment period for life changes like that.”

 If you have enrolled by February 15, your health care coverage begins March 1, 2015.

For individuals who live in states where Medicaid expansion has not taken place and they can not qualify for the the Affordable Care Act, Sec. Burwell told Martin these individuals will not be penalized.

Burwell acknowledged there are individuals who can not afford coverage. In those cases Sec. Burwell said, “People who are above the poverty line, but still may have a situation where they can’t afford coverage because as a percentage of their income it would be too expensive, there are no fees.”

“Your’re also exempt from the fee if certain life things have happened this year. If you have been part of a natural disaster,” there are exemptions from the fee.

“For millions and millions of Americans in terms of the affordability issue, we know that in the marketplace, eight our of ten people in the marketplace qualify for financial assistance,” said Burwell.

She added these individuals qualify for $268 of financial assistance per month, per person to help them with their premium costs. According to Sec. Burwell, this would bring their monthly premium costs down to approximately $105 per month.

To register for the Affordable Care Act visit HealthCare.govOpen enrollment ends Sunday, February 15.

Black Men Inspire: 40 Prominent African Americans Share Their Views On Living, Leading And Succeeding

Van Jones joined Roland Martin Thursday on “NewsOne Now” to discuss the new book, “Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding.” The book edited by former NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous, is a collection of personal as well as intimate essays from 40 prominent African American men who share their stories of success.

Jones, a contributor to the book, spoke with Martin via Skype about how important it is to have African American males speaking form their vantage point about living, leading and succeeding.

Jones, an American environmental advocate, civil rights activist and president of Rebuild The Dream told Martin, the book is an “important  breakthrough.”

“It is an opportunity for somebody if you aren’t African American male or know one and your wondering how am I going to get from A to B to C to get to my dreams — is it even possible,” said Jones.

“These are very intimate essays and stories that really get you under the hood of the car, of the engine, of the hope, of the dreams of the challenges that we go through trying to get where we are.”

“Overcoming is kind of what we do,” said Jones. “For 400 years that is what we’ve had to do.”

He added, “I think the genius of Black folk is to make a way out of no way and to find faith in circumstances and situations that a lot of people would give up hope on.”


In this timely and important collection of personal essays, black men from all walks of life share their inspiring stories and ultimately how each, in his own way, became a source of hope for his community and country.

Reach includes forty first-person accounts from well-known men like the Rev. Al Sharpton, John Legend, Isiah Thomas, Bill T. Jones, Louis Gossett, Jr., and Talib Kweli, alongside influential community organizers, businessmen, religious leaders, philanthropists, and educators. These remarkable individuals are living proof that black men are as committed as ever to ensuring a better world for themselves and for others.

Powerful and indispensable to our ongoing cultural dialogue, Reach explodes myths about black men by providing rare, candid, and deeply personal insights into their lives. It’s a blueprint for better community engagement. It’s an essential resource for communities everywhere.

WTH?! Thursday: Teen Fired For A Tweet, Walmart Tax Time Headbutt [GIF]

It’s WTH?! Thursday on “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin. Martin, Danielle Belton and Rudy “DJ Flava” Davis take a look at all of the crazy stories crossing newswires this week.

The list of insanity begins with a Texas teen prompting her new employer to fire her before her first day on the job over an expletive-laden tweet.

“Ew I start this f*** a** job tomorrow,” tweeted the teen with username @Cellla_. The tweet was read by the pizza store owner who replied, “And no… you don’t start the FA job today! I just fired you! Good luck with your no money, no job life.”

Next up, a California water manager got caught relieving himself in a drinking water reservoir. According to media reports, when the alleged pipe draining occurred, there was no water in the reservoir  — it too had been drained for maintenance.

A Brooklyn, NY elementary school principal is under fire for using school funds to  set up a personal gym. According to the New York Post, Jazmine Santiago installed a bench press, pull-up bar, treadmill, elliptical machine and thigh exerciser inside a storage room in PS 269.

Jessica Ablitz got into an argument with Alice Keener, a tax worker at a Jackson-Hewitt branch inside of aDeer Park, Texas Walmart. The thumping took place after Ablitz and Keenner had an argument over a tax return that was previously filed at the location. After the WWE style headbutt, Kenner took Ablitz to the mat, ahem … floor.

Yes y’all it is definitely WTH?! Thursday on “NewsOne Now.”

All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast.