So, you’ve missed the first Obamacare deadline.  What now?  The bad news is, you may have a gap in insurance coverage.  December 15 was the deadline to enroll for coverage starting on January 1.  Hopefully nothing will happen between now and then to justify a trip to the emergency room.

Oh, and have you heard of the Obamacare penalty?  It’s true, there's a penalty for not having health insurance.  Don’t panic, you won’t be fined for a gap in coverage as long as it’s less than 90 days.  Thankfully, there’s still time to sign up.

You may be wondering: What are the advantages to using the healthcare Marketplace?

    1. You can shop around.  The Marketplace allows you to compare plans and rates across multiple insurance companies, depending on which state you reside in.  Different types of plans include:
∙ HMO health insurance asks you to pick one primary care doctor who decides when you need to be  referred to a specialist.
∙ PPO health insurance allows you to see any doctor.  Physician prices will vary depending on which network they belong to.
∙ POS health insurance is a combination of HMOs and PPOs.
∙ Catastrophic health insurance is a high deductible health plan intended for very young and healthy people who rarely need to see the doctor.  Their purpose is to save you from bankruptcy in the event of an emergency.
    1. You can get answers to any lingering questions, such as:
∙ What is a deductible?
∙ What is a qualified health plan?
∙ What are the Obamacare exemptions?
  1. You can apply for Obamacare subsidies or discounts on insurance premiums.  The healthcare Marketplace is the only place to receive government assistance to reduce health care costs.

You have until February 15 to enroll through the Marketplace.  Missing this deadline could mean going another year without health insurance.  A special enrollment period only becomes available when you have a qualifying life event.  Examples include changes to your marital status, changes in employment status, or having a baby.  Learn about a few more important ACA deadlines.

To find out more, visit your local Liberty Tax office or call our ACA hotline at 1-800-673-8600.


-- By Alice Robeson