Eligible Individuals Have From March 15 - April 30 to Enroll in Coverage
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a special enrollment period (SEP) for individuals and families who did not have health coverage in 2014 and are therefore subject to a penalty (referred to as an individual "shared responsibility payment") when they file their 2014 taxes in states which use the Federally-facilitated Health Insurance Marketplaces (FFM).
Individual Shared Responsibility (Individual Mandate)
Effective January 1, 2014, the "individual mandate" provision under Health Care Reform requires every individual to have minimum essential health coverage for each month, qualify for an exemption, or make a payment when filing his or her federal income tax return. This special enrollment period will allow those individuals and families who were unaware or didn't understand the implications of this new requirement to enroll in 2015 health insurance coverage through the FFM.
Special Enrollment Period & 2015 Penalties
CMS will provide eligible individuals with an opportunity to purchase health insurance coverage from March 15, 2015 through 11:59 pm E.S.T. on April 30, 2015. Those eligible for this special enrollment period live in states with a Federally-facilitated Marketplace and:
- Currently are not enrolled in coverage through the FFM for 2015;
- Attest that when they filed their 2014 tax return they paid the fee for not having health coverage in 2014; and
- Attest that they first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the penalty after the end of open enrollment (February 15, 2015) in connection with preparing their 2014 taxes.
Individuals taking advantage of this special enrollment period will still owe a fee for the months they were uninsured and did not receive an exemption in 2014 and 2015. This special enrollment period is designed to allow such individuals the opportunity to get covered for the remainder of the year and avoid additional fees for 2015. If individuals do not purchase coverage for 2015 during this special enrollment period, they may have to pay a fee when they file their 2015 income taxes.
Individuals seeking to take advantage of the special enrollment period can find out if they are eligible by clicking here. Individuals that have questions about their taxes, need to download forms, or want to learn more about the penalty for not having insurance, are encouraged to review the information and resources available at www.HealthCare.gov/Taxes or www.IRS.gov. These individuals can also call the Marketplace Call Center, at 1-800-318-2596.