Health care enrollment ends in February! Are you covered for 2015? You only get three months to decide. November 15, 2014, marked the beginning of open enrollment to secure a health insurance policy for 2015. If you haven’t purchased one yet, you may want to start thinking about it. After February 15, 2015, it will be too late unless you experience what’s called a qualifying life event. This is a change in your life that can make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Qualifying life events are things like moving to a new state, certain changes in your income, and changes in your family size (for example, if you marry, divorce, or have a baby) and gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe or status as an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder. ¹
There are other exceptions as well. Enrollment in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and some small business-based plans are open year-round. Special Enrollment Periods define those times you are allowed to purchase regular health insurance coverage under the new ObamaCare law.
Coverage normally starts the first day of the month after you purchase it—if you enroll between the 1st and 15th. If you enroll on January 15, your coverage starts February 1. But if you enroll on January 16, you’ll have to wait until March 1 for your plan to go into effect.
If you have questions, call us, or if you want to see what a health plan might costs, just Click here for a do it yourself quote. After you get your quote, you will still need to call us to have it processed.
WHAT IF I DON’T PURCHASE A PLAN BY FEBRUARY 15?
Memory lapse, procrastination, indecision, whatever the reason, if February 15th comes & goes and you still don’t have health insurance, there are consequences because you wouldn’t be in compliance with the “Individual Mandate.” That’s, the term of art used by the government to indicate the obligation that most of us have to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty tax.
HOW MUCH IS THE PENALTY TAX?
The ObamaCare penalty tax first went into effect January 1, 2014. “If you didn’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts when you file your 2014 federal tax return.
The IRS says direct from their website Healthcare.govthat “If you didn’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts when you file your 2014 federal tax return:
1% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a bronze plan.
$95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.”
“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 $10,000 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.” ²
As always, we are here to help you any way we can. Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you need us.