Update: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new short-term special enrollment period from March 15 to April 30, 2015, giving people in 37 states more time to sign up for 2015 health insurance coverage through Healthcare.gov. Act soon to secure health care coverage for you and your family, and to avoid a tax penalty for 2015. For more information, click here. Check your state marketplace website for updates regarding state-run exchange special enrollment periods.
With the end of 2015 Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period approaching, now is the time to make sure you’re complying with the Affordable Care Act to avoid being hit with a tax penalty when you file your 2015 federal income taxes in 2016.
Here’s a checklist:
Do I need coverage? The law requires most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a fine for being uninsured. Check out the IRS free online tool to determine if you qualify for an exemption.
Does my current plan comply with the Affordable Care Act? If you already have a plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace or your state Marketplace or you’re enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or the VA, TRICARE or any other qualified coverage, your health insurance complies with the health law. Most work-based plans also comply, but check with your employer.
Do I qualify for subsidized insurance? If you’re uninsured or buy coverage on your own, visit Healthcare.gov or your state’s Marketplace to determine if you qualify for Marketplace health insurance. When you purchase health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace you may be eligible for an advanced premium tax credit and cost-sharing assistance, depending on your household income and size to help you pay for health insurance. People with limited incomes can find out if they qualify for Medicaid.
Should I switch plans? If you already have a Marketplace plan, you have until February 15 to purchase different coverage, even if you were automatically re-enrolled in your current plan. Check to see if the plan is still right for you. Remember to cancel your old policy to avoid being billed twice.
Did I report household changes? If you already have a Marketplace plan, make sure to update information about your income and family circumstances, such as the birth of a child, divorce or marriage. If your income decreased, you may be entitled to a larger tax credit if you didn’t get your full subsidy. Conversely, if your income increased, you may be getting more financial assistance than you’re entitled to and may need to re-pay the money when you file your income taxes.