Health Insurance Open Enrollment
Do you currently have individual health insurance coverage for you and/or your family that is not provided by an employer? Are you without health insurance at this time? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then this information is for you!
The open enrollment period for individual (or family) health insurance coverage runs November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016. This enrollment period is for people looking to purchase new health insurance for themselves or their family, or to make changes to their current health insurance plan. The only time you can purchase insurance (either on the Federal Marketplace or off the Marketplace) is during November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016 - unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
What if I don’t get coverage during the Open Enrollment Period?
Again, if you don’t get coverage during the Open Enrollment Period, the only way to get coverage through the year is if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. What is that, you ask? A Special Enrollment Period is a time outside of the open enrollment period during which you and your family have the right to sign up for health coverage if you have a qualifying event. What is a qualifying event? Marriage, the birth of a child, or the loss of other health coverage (you lost your job, or your employer no longer offers coverage).
What happens if I don’t get coverage at all?
If you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you must have a health coverage exemption or pay a fee/fine/penalty/individual responsibility payment (they have lots of names for it).
If you don’t have coverage in 2015, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:
- 2% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,150 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a Bronze plan.
- $325 per person for the year ($162.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $975.
These penalties have increased since 2014 and will increase again in 2016.
We can help you with your current insurance plans or with a new one both on the Federal Marketplace and off the Marketplace. Give us a call and we can send you a checklist of all of the information you will need to apply and we can help you through the process.