Each year you go without coverage, the fees get higher. The 2016 penalty fee for no health insurance is more than 2015 and 2014 was. If you don’t have coverage in 2016, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:
2.5% of your yearly household income
$695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18)
In future years, the fee is adjusted for inflation.
How you pay the fee
You’ll pay the fee on the federal income tax return you file for the year you don’t have coverage. Most people will file their 2015 returns in early 2016.
While the Open Enrollment for Health Insurance has ended for 2014, there are still situations where an person can qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you have an Individual Health Insurance Policy that has a non-calendar year Renewal this year, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, or SEP. This could occur if you have a Grandfathered or non-Grandfathered transitional policy. If you receive a renewal notice from your Insurer, please give us a call at 877-740-8683, to discuss your options and find out if it is in your best interest to shop for a new policy. This SEP is in addition to the COBRA Special Enrollment Period , relating to Group Health Insurance, that will last until July 1st. There are also the regular Qualifying Life Events that will trigger an SEP. The Qualifying Life Events, or QLE’s, can include such things as gaining a dependent, through birth, marriage or adoption. If you lose Minimum Essential Coverage, through no fault of your own, this can also qualify for an SEP. This could result from a loss of a job, reduction in hours, divorce, or a permanent move. There are complex deadlines surrounding the triggering events. While most SEP’s have a 60 day day window, there are some with only 30 days. If you thing you might qualify for an SEP, please call 877-740-8683, or visit www.healthreformenrollmentcenter.com , to speak to a licensed Insurance Agent for a person evaluation of your situation. If you can’t qualify for an SEP, there are still options available for Short Term Insurance, and the 2015 Open Enrollment will start November 15th.
The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a one time Special Enrollment Period for anyone who has COBRA continuation from Group coverage. This will allow anyone currently on COBRA to enroll in a new ACA plan until July 1st. The normal rules of only being able to enroll in a Marketplace plan when first eligible due to loss of coverage, or when COBRA was exhausted(or during the Open Enrollment), are suspended for this time period. The decision was made because many people were unaware that would no longer be able to leave COBRA coverage during the year, and enroll in an Individual policy. Prior to 2014, people used to be able to purchase Individual coverage at any time during the year, so they could leave COBRA at any time. Under the Affordable Care Act, people are no longer able to purchase Individual coverage during the year, unless they have a Special Enrollment Period. Since COBRA coverage is often very expensive, it always worthwhile to compare Individual Health Insurance prices, especially if you might qualify for a subsidy. Please give us a call at 877-740-8683, to find out if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
If you will need Health Insurance in 2014, don’t put off your purchase until the last minute. The absolute deadline for Enrollment in a Plan for 2014 is March 31st. The Marketplace website is again experiencing glitches, down times and waits. If you think you would be eligible for a subsidy, please call 877-740-8683, today to start the process. There will be more backlogs in the final days of the Open Enrollment, so secure your place in line now. You can also visit www.healthreformenrollmentcenter.com for additional resources. If you miss the Open Enrollment period, you will not be able to purchase a Qualified Health Plan for the remainder of 2014, unless you have a Special Enrollment Period due to a specific major life change, and you may be subject to a tax penalty.