FAQ Friday: Enrollment Deadline and Tax Penalty
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When is the last date that I can get coverage for the year?
Feb. 15 is the deadline for purchasing health insurance this year. After Feb. 15, consumers will have to wait until fall 2015 to enroll in coverage effective Jan. 1, 2016, unless there is a qualifying life event.
Will I be fined if I don’t get covered?
Yes. If you don’t have qualifying coverage you will be subject to the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment. You can use this chart to check if your coverage qualifies as “minimal essential” coverage.
- If you don’t have coverage in 2015, you’ll have to pay two percent of your yearly household income or $325 per person ($162.50 per child under 18), whichever is higher.
- If you didn’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll have to pay one percent of your yearly household income or $95 per person ($47.50 per child under 18), whichever is higher.
To check if you’ll be required to pay the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment, take this quiz from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS.)
How will the government charge me this penalty?
Those without insurance will pay the fee on the income tax return they file for the year they didn’t have coverage. For example, if you didn’t have coverage in 2014, you will pay the fee when you file your 2014 federal tax return.
Are there any exceptions from the tax penalty?
According to the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be exempt from the tax penalty if:
- You’re uninsured for less than 3 months of the year
- The lowest-priced Bronze plan available to you would cost more than 8% of your household income
- You don’t have to file a tax return because your income is too low
- You’re a member of a federally recognized tribe or eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider
- You’re a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry
- You’re a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to insurance, including Social Security and Medicare
- You’re incarcerated (either detained or jailed), and not being held pending disposition of charges
- You’re not lawfully present in the U.S.
- You qualify for a hardship exemption
Learn more about exemptions in this chart. For more information, visit HealthCare.gov/exemptions. FAQ Fridays aim to answer common questions we receive. Submit your questions to the Customer Action Center. To get one-on-one assistance, call a health plan advisor at 855-237-3501 or visit one of our statewide walk-in centers. To learn more about tax provisions under the health care law, visit IRS.gov/aca. Photo Credit:David Wall