I Missed the Open Enrollment Deadline. What Now?

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The deadline for buying 2015 health coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace has passed. But you might be able to buy health insurance during a tax-time special enrollment period from March 15 to April 30, depending on where you live.

The extension will help people who are paying a tax penalty for being uninsured in 2014 avoid a similar fine next year because they didn’t have coverage in 2015. The penalty for non-coverage in 2014 is $95 per person or 1% of household income, whichever amount is greater, and will increase to $325 per person or 2% of household income in 2015.

To qualify for the extension, you must be uninsured and attest that you paid the tax penalty for non-coverage in 2014 when you filed your taxes. You also must attest that you became aware of the tax penalty after the end of the regular open enrollment period.

The one-time offer applies to residents in the 37 states that use HealthCare.gov. Some state-run Marketplaces have similar tax-season extensions. Contact your local Marketplace or check out TurboTax interactive map for information about your state.

If you don’t qualify for this special tax-time extension, there’s still a chance you might be able to buy coverage for 2015 during other times of the year under certain circumstances.

For example, you can apply for a special enrollment if you experience a “qualifying life event” such as the birth or adoption of a child, the death of a spouse, marriage or divorce, or the loss of employer-based coverage. To apply, contact your Marketplace. You have 60 days to get coverage after the triggering event. After that, you must wait until the next open enrollment period and may pay a penalty for being uninsured when filing your taxes.

Reporting your health insurance status on your taxes – and checking if you qualify for an exemption from a tax penalty – is easy with TurboTax. ACA forms are included in TurboTax products at no additional cost. You can get more answers about the new special enrollment period and how the Affordable Care Act may impact you and your taxes at TurboTax Health.

 

 

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