Uninsured Americans paying the Obamacare tax penalty may have just caught a break with the new special enrollment period that runs until April 30, 2015.
A Second Chance to Enroll in 2015 CoverageDo you have friends or family members who still need health coverage for 2015?
If so, let them know that they may have a second chance to enroll. The nationwide open enrollment period for individual and family health insurance ended on February 15, 2015. However, many uninsured consumers will qualify for special enrollment opportunities this spring.
Consumers in many states may be eligible for a second chance to enroll in 2015 coverage if they meet the following criteria:
- they must be currently uninsured for 2015
- they must have paid a tax penalty (called a “shared responsibility payment”) on their 2014 tax return, and
- they must have been unaware that they would be subject to the tax penalty until after February 15, 2015 when they prepared their taxes.
Do you know anyone who fits the bill?
Let them know that they may only have until April 30, 2015 to enroll and avoid a full tax penalty for going uninsured in 2015 too. Tax penalties are increasing for 2015. Here are a few tips to share with friends and family who may qualify for this special enrollment opportunity:
- Work with an agent to make sure you qualify in your state – This special enrollment opportunity is available in most states (not all), but the details, such as deadlines and conditions for qualifying, vary depending on where you live. Work with a licensed agent like those at eHealth to see if you qualify. Remember, it doesn’t cost anything extra to work with a licensed health insurance agent.
- Compare plans to find the best match for your needs – All major medical plans now cover the same basic suite of benefits, but the details can vary. Your out-of-pocket expenses may vary too. Pay attention not only to monthly premiums but to copayments and deductibles too if you want to understand how much you’ll have to pay for medical care under any plan you’re considering. An agent can help you make sure you know what you’re getting.
- Understand if you’ll qualify for subsidies – Health insurance isn’t cheap, but if you earn less than 400% of the federal poverty level (about $47,000 per year for a single person) you may qualify for government subsidies. Just remember that your subsidies are based on your estimated income for this year. If you earn more than expected, you may have to pay some of your subsidies back when you do your taxes next year.
Where Can You Enroll for Health Coverage?
You can also explore your options for health insurance plans by entering your zip code where indicated on the right side of this page. Or, you can sign up for our newsletter in the right side of this page, too.