10 days to take advantage of tax time enrollment period
Uninsured tax filers who owe a fee on their 2014 taxes for not having minimum essential health coverage in 2014 have 10 more days to take advantage of a Special Enrollment Period through the federally-facilitated Marketplace to enroll in health coverage for the remainder of 2015.
"We understand the requirement to have insurance is new, which is why we're providing this last chance for those who are uninsured, are paying a fee, and were not aware of or did not understand the implications of the fee with an opportunity to enroll in affordable coverage for the rest of the year," said Kevin Counihan. As of April 13, more than 68,000 consumers have taken advantage of this opportunity to sign up for coverage through the Federally-facilitated Marketplace. "We hope uninsured tax filers take the next few days to learn about the options and financial assistance that is available and to enroll in a plan that meets their needs -- rather than taking the risk of choosing to get by without insurance for another year."
In order to take advantage of this Special Enrollment Period, consumers must meet all of the following requirements:
* They did not know that the health care law required them and their household to have health coverage, or they didn't understand how that requirement would affect their family.
* They owe a fee for not having minimum essential coverage for one or more months in 2014;
* They are not already enrolled in minimum essential coverage for 2015.
* They live in a state with a federally-facilitated Marketplace; some state-based Marketplaces are offering similar Special Enrollment Periods as well.
For those who are required to file taxes, the fee for not having minimum essential coverage in 2014 was 1 percent of household income or $95 per person, whichever is greater. This fee will increase in 2015 to 2 percent of household income or $325 per person, whichever is greater. The fee is pro-rated based on how many months a person is uninsured. If an individual who would otherwise have to pay a fee enrolls in coverage for the remainder of 2015, they will pay the fee only for the months they were uninsured.
Additional information for consumers:
Consumers seeking to take advantage of the Special Enrollment Period can find out if they are eligible by visiting https://www.healthcare.gov/get-coverage. Consumers should also be aware of the following:
1. Act now to avoid owing the full fee next year. This Special Enrollment Period is only open until April 30, 2015. Consumers who don't have minimum essential coverage for the remainder of 2015 risk owing the fee for whatever portion of the year they don't have coverage.
2. Plans might be more affordable than you think. Eight out of 10 people can find minimum essential coverage for $100 or less a month with tax credits through the Marketplace.
3. You benefit from increased competition and choice. Compared to last year, there are over 25 percent more health insurance companies participating in the Marketplace in 2015. More than 90 percent of consumers will be able to choose from three or more health insurance companies--up from 74 percent in 2014- and consumers can choose from an average of 40 health plans in their county for 2015 coverage--up from 30 in 2014.
4. More information and help is available. Consumers can explore their options and get answers to questions at HealthCare.gov. Personal assistance is also available 24-7 by calling the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596.
Local assistance is available at Johnson Nichols Health Clinic. You can schedule an appointment with a Navigator by calling 653-6171.