While the big push to help consumers get their 2015 health insurance ended in February, there’s a new special enrollment period specifically for tax filers who are subject to a tax fine because they didn’t have health insurance in 2014 and didn’t sign up for 2015 coverage during open enrollment, leaving them liable for another, and bigger fine, when they file their 2015 taxes.
Understanding that this can cause repeated financial hardship and leave people exposed to medical debt from lack of insurance, CMS established this special enrollment period until April 30 for consumers who meet these criteria:
- Currently are not enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace for 2015,
- Attest that when they filed their 2014 tax return they paid the fine for not having health coverage in 2014, or will be subject to the fine when they file their taxes,
- Attest that they first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the Shared Responsibility Payment (tax fine) after the end of open enrollment (February 15, 2015) in connection with preparing their 2014 taxes.
This “tax” special enrollment period ends on April 30 at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time.
Other Special Enrollment Opportunities
Because different “life events” can affect individuals’ or families’ insurance status, additional special enrollment periods allow consumers to enroll in a Marketplace plan even after open enrollment ends.
Common life events include losing insurance from a job, COBRA ending, BadgerCare Plus ineligibility, death or divorce. Other life events focus on adding family members such as marriage, birth or adoption. Even an income change or a move can trigger a special enrollment period. And, there are even more situations. While these special enrollment periods do not have specific time periods, generally, consumers must act within 60 days of the qualifying event to add or change insurance. Some events have shorter timelines, so people should check their options as soon as they experience, or know there will be, a change.
Covering Kids & Families Community Enrollment Opportunities to Help Consumers with Special Enrollment Periods
March 23 – April 30
Mondays, Noon to 5 pm
VITA Tax Preparation site at the Richard Dilley Tax Center (Villager Mall)
2300 S. Park St., Madison
March 16 – August 2015
Thursdays, 10 am – 3 pm
Dane County Job Center
1819 Aberg Ave., Madison
Appointments are recommended. Walk-ins will also be accepted
Call 608-261-1455 for appointments and details.