Although the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment closed on February 15th, today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new short-term special enrollment period, from March 15 to April 30, giving people in 37 states more time to sign up for 2015 health insurance coverage through Healthcare.gov.
This is good news for those who now may have more time to sign up for a Marketplace plan that is right for them and their family, and can avoid paying a tax penalty for not having insurance coverage in 2015.
You may be eligible for the extension if you:
- Live in states with a Federally facilitated Marketplace
- Are not currently enrolled in health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2015
- Attest that when you filed your 2014 taxes you paid a fee for not having 2014 health insurance coverage
- Attest that you first became aware of or understood implications of paying a tax penalty for not having 2014 health insurance after the end of open enrollment.
Many states that run their own exchanges are considering a similar extension. The state exchanges in Minnesota, Washington state and Vermont have already announced plans to extend the enrollment period through tax season. If you are uninsured, you can check your local exchange for the latest updates on any special enrollment period in your state.
The health reform law requires that all Americans have health insurance coverage or face a tax penalty. When filing federal income tax returns, Americans will have to indicate if they had coverage throughout the year. The average penalty for non-coverage in 2014 was just over $300 and it will increase to an average of $588 in 2015. Read more about the costs of going without health insurance here.
Reporting your health insurance status on taxes – and checking if you qualify for an exemption from a penalty – is easy with TurboTax. ACA forms are included in TurboTax products at no additional cost. You can get answers about how the Affordable Care Act may impact you and your taxes at TurboTax Health.