Whether you have insurance or not, now may be a good time to check out the health insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace is where you can enroll in health insurance, re-enroll or switch your health care plan. Health insurance is not an option since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010. The law requires Americans and legal residents to have health insurance, qualify for a coverage exemption, or pay a penalty on their taxes. Open enrollment in the Marketplace begins November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015. Enrolling by December 15, 2014 will guarantee insurance coverage beginning on January 1, 2015.
After the December 15 Enrollment Date
You can still obtain insurance after December 15. This date specifically applies to individuals who want their coverage to begin at the start of the year. The following will apply to insurance applications received after December 15:
- Applications submitted between the 1st and 15th days of the month will result in coverage that begins the first day of the following month;
- Applications submitted between the 16th and last day of the month will result in coverage that begins the first day of the second following month.
Simply put, if you apply for insurance between January 1 and January 15, 2015, your coverage will begin February 1, 2015. Apply for insurance between January 16 and January 31, 2015, and your coverage will begin on March 1, 2015.
Insurance Lockout Period
After February 15, 2015, you will not be able to purchase insurance for 2015 through the health insurance Marketplace unless you qualify for a special enrollment period. Special enrollments include a birth or death in the family, a job change, and more. Failure to enroll in health insurance could lead to a tax penalty.
How Do I Enroll?
Stop by a Liberty Tax® office for help in enrolling in insurance for next year or applying for an exemption to obtaining coverage for 2014. If you qualify for an exemption, you may be able to avoid a tax penalty when you file your taxes.
To find out more, you may contact our ACA hotline at 1-800-673-8600.