Even though the Annual Open Enrollment period to sign up for health insurance in 2015 just ended on February 15th, millions of Americans are getting one last chance to sign up for a plan this year. Anyone who does not have health insurance in 2015 will have to pay a tax penalty of 2% of their household income, up to $975 for a family.
One More Chance To Get Coverage in 2015
For states that use a federal insurance exchange (which is the majority of the country), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now giving Americans the opportunity to avoid tax penalties by enrolling in a health care plan of their choice during this new special enrollment period (SEP), which will run March 15 through April 30, 2015.
This extension applies to anyone who is paying a tax penalty for not having coverage during at least a portion of 2014.
Many State Exchanges are also having an additional special enrollment period.
Covered California – is running now through April 30 for those who were unaware of the tax penalties associated with not obtaining health insurance. Consumers are eligible to sign up by letting Covered California know that they were unaware of the tax penalty. This can be done by clicking this option upon signing up. Your Personal Benefit Consultant can further assist you with this process.
Kynect (Kentucky State Exchange) – began March 2 and will run through to April 30 to assist those that were unaware of the tax penalties involved.
New York State of Health – began on March 1 and will run through April 30. To qualify for this SEP, applicants need to prove that they filed their 2014 federal taxes, paid the penalty for not having obtained health insurance, as well as show that they were unaware of the tax penalty until they actually filed their taxes.
MNsure – Minnesota’s open enrollment began March 1 and runs through April 30, available to anyone who is required to pay a penalty for being uninsured in 2014.
Washington Health Benefit Exchange – began on February 17 and will conclude April 17. This is for interested consumers that were unaware of the tax penalty, as well as for those that already began an application but experienced delays due to technical issues. This SEP also applies to those that could not have their income verified, or those that may have been confused regarding the steps to complete the application process. Those who need more assistance in completing the process can contact their Personal Benefits Consultant, who will guide them through the steps.
If you are in this situation, you should contact us right away. I would caution you about trying to sign up on your own through the exchanges, as this last minute extension is going to be a mess, guaranteed. Give us a call, and we’ll handle the problems and make it easy, at no charge to you.
Wiley Long is President of HSA for America, and a passionate advocate for consumer-based solutions that will improve price transparency and lower health insurance and medical costs for people purchasing individual and family health insurance plans.