The Obama administration said Friday it will allow a special health law enrollment period from March 15 to April 30 for consumers who realize while filling out their taxes that they owe a fee for not signing up for coverage last year.
The special enrollment period applies to people in the 37 states covered by the federal marketplace, though some state-run exchanges are also expected to follow suit.
People will have to attest that they first became aware of the tax penalty for lack of coverage when they filled out their taxes. They will still have to pay the fine, which for last year was $95 or 1 percent of their income, whichever was greater. This year, the penalty for not having insurance coverage is $325 per person or 2 percent of household income, whichever is greater. By signing up during the special enrollment period for 2015 they can avoid paying most of the tax penalty for this year.
The Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay a financial penalty. But some people may not realize they face a penalty for not having coverage until they file their tax returns ahead of the April 15 tax deadline.
The administration also said Friday it sent out the wrong information to 800,000 people to help them calculate whether they received too much of a subsidy for health coverage last year or too little. Those affected are being notified today by email or telephone – and are being asked to wait to file their taxes until after new 1095-A forms are sent in early March.
For the 5 percent of those affected who have already filed returns for 2014, more instructions are to come from the Treasury Department, officials said. The 800,000 represents about 20 percent of the total number of people who were sent 1095-A tax forms. Officials declined to say how the mistake occurred.
The administration would not estimate how many people it expects to take advantage of the new enrollment period. Millions of Americans who did not enroll in a plan are exempt from the requirement to buy coverage because their income is too little or they qualify for other exemptions. Officials said this special enrollment would be just for this year to account for people who did not hear or heed messages about the individual insurance mandate that was included in the health law approved by Congress in 2010.
So far, 11.4 million Americans have enrolled in private health insurance through Obamacare during the open enrollment period that ended on Sunday.
Separately, administration officials have said they will allow people who had trouble completing their enrollment by Feb. 15 to finish by Sunday Feb. 22. Officials estimated it would help fewer than 150,000 people.
–Kaiser Health News
Tom Jacks says
Anyone that didn’t know about the penalty for not having insurance has been living with their head buried in the sand. This is nothing more than an attempt to increase the pathetic sign up rate for Obamacare. 30 million uninsured before Obamacare, 40 million uninsured today. A monumental success according to progressives.
what a disaster this unconstiutional health care plan is this is just the beginning of a nightmare
to the hard working middle income people this needs to be repealed by real coserbative leaders
who need to stand up to our dictator who wants to undermine america. I believe it is too late
It’s a typical government program…
First, over inflate the problem: 40 to 50 million don’t have healthcare.
Second, sound the mating call with all the passion one can muster: “We NEED to do something!”
Third, pass a monstrosity of a bill without reading what is in it.
Fourth, tell the people it’s not a tax, then argue it IS a tax before the supreme court.
Fifth, fund the program for trillions of dollars. Unlike most instances where there is ALWAYS a leftist calling for more money and the excuse almost always being that the program is under funded!
Sixth, spend millions on a website that doesn’t work.
Seventh, continue to see boondoggle after boondoggle because of the unbelievable bureaucracy.
Eighth, have one of your top advisors state multiple times that this bill was originally passed based on fraud, deceit, lies and the “stupidity of the American voter”.
Ninth, if your a leftist, continue to promote and applaud this program because it gets you one step closer to total government control and single pay.
Sherry Epley says
On Tuesday, Gallup publicized their 2014 year-end results for the answer to the question “Do you have health insurance coverage?” asked in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey. The poll brings good news, as it finds that the percentage of Americans who lack health insurance dropped 3.5 percentage points from 2013 to 2014. According to the national survey, in 2013, 17.3 percent of Americans were without health insurance. In 2014, just 13.8 percent lacked health insurance coverage.
The survey, taken from a representative sample of over 175,000 Americans across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, was conducted from January 2nd to December 30th of last year. Not only did the uninsured rate drop between 2013 and 2014, but it is continuing to drop. For the last quarter of 2014, Gallup found the uninsured rate was just 12.9 percent. The promising new figures also don’t account for all the new enrollments in 2015. 55 percent of Americans who did not have coverage in late 2014, were planning to sign up for coverage during the current open enrollment period.
Predictably, states that expanded Medicaid and also established either a state-based marketplace exchange or a state-federal partnership saw the most dramatic declines in uninsured rates. The nine states that saw the biggest drops in the percentage of adults who were uninsured were all states that expanded Medicaid and established marketplace exchanges.