Health Coverage Special Enrollment Period for Tax Season
Eligible consumers have through April 30 to enroll in coverage.April 1, 2015
There is a special enrollment period (SEP) for individuals and families who did not have health coverage in 2014 and are subject to the fee or â€śshared responsibility paymentâ€ť when they file their 2014 taxes in states which use the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFM). This special enrollment period will allow those individuals and families who were unaware or didnâ€™t understand the implications of this new requirement to enroll in 2015 health insurance coverage through the FFM.
For those who were unaware or didnâ€™t understand the implications of the fee for not enrolling in coverage, Penquis has a Navigator available who can provide free in-person assistance to help you apply through April 30th. If consumers do not purchase coverage for 2015 during this special enrollment period, they may have to pay a fee when they file their 2015 income taxes.
Those eligible for this special enrollment period live in states with a Federally-facilitated Marketplace and:
- Currently are not enrolled in coverage through the FFM for 2015,
- Attest that when they filed their 2014 tax return they paid the fee for not having health coverage in 2014, and
- Attest that they first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the Shared Responsibility Payment after the end of open enrollment (February 15, 2015) in connection with preparing their 2014 taxes.
The special enrollment period began on March 15, 2015 and ends at 11:59 pm E.S.T. on April 30, 2015. If a consumer enrolls in coverage before the 15th of the month, coverage will be effective on the first day of the following month.
This yearâ€™s tax season is the first time individuals and families will be asked to provide basic information regarding their health coverage on their tax returns. Individuals who could not afford coverage or met other conditions may be eligible to receive an exemption for 2014.
Americans who do not qualify for an exemption and went without health coverage in 2014 will have to pay a fee â€“ $95 per adult or 1 percent of their income, whichever is greater â€“ when they file their taxes this year. The fee increases to $325 per adult or 2% of income for 2015. Individuals taking advantage of this special enrollment period will still owe a fee for the months they were uninsured and did not receive an exemption in 2014 and 2015. This special enrollment period is designed to allow such individuals the opportunity to get covered for the remainder of the year and avoid additional fees for 2015.
Part of this outreach effort involves coordinating with nonprofit organizations and tax preparers who provide resources to consumers and offer on the ground support. If consumers have questions about their taxes, need to download forms, or want to learn more about the fee for not having insurance, they can find information and resources at www.HealthCare.gov/Taxes or www.IRS.gov. Consumers can also call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. Consumers who need assistance filing their taxes can visit IRS.gov/VITA or IRS.gov/freefile. For more information about Health Insurance Marketplaces, visit: www.healthcare.gov/marketplace.
If you live in Penobscot or Piscataquis counties and would like free in person help with this Special Enrollment Period contact Penquis at 1-844-846-3691.
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