It’s crunch time, and tomorrow may be too late. We know you understand the definition of a deadline, but what happens if you miss March 31? In short, nothing good!
Let’s run through a few questions you might have about what this deadline really means and why waiting might mean less money in your bank account.
What happens if I don’t enroll in a plan by March 31?
After the deadline, an individual can no longer enroll in a plan. You’d have to:
- Wait until the next Open Enrollment Period (in Fall 2015)
- Qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (for example, marriage or the birth of a child).
On top of that, you have to pay a tax penalty. And that doesn’t mean you’re covered, you’ll still have to pay 100% of your medical costs!
If I wait until the end of March to enroll, will I have to pay the tax penalty? I’ve heard if my gap in coverage is more than 3 months, I still have to pay.
As long as you’ve completed the application process by March 31, an exemption will keep you from having to pay a penalty on your 2015 tax returns.If you want to learn more about this exemption, visit the CMS’s Enrollment Period FAQ.
Does enrolling in a Short-Term plan save me from the tax penalty?
No. Individuals on short-term plans will pay the penalty on their 2015 tax return (unless they meet an exemption).
Can I change my plan after March 31?
No. You’ll have to wait until the 2015 Open Enrollment Period to make changes to your plan.
The only exception to this rule is adding a newborn. You have about a month to add your new little bundle of joy to your plan.
You can cancel your plan at any time, but depending how long you go without coverage, you may have to pay a penalty.
How will the government really know whether I have insurance?
Great question. When you submit your federal taxes in 2015, the forms will have a new question about health insurance coverage. Health insurance companies, like Health Alliance, will also have to send the IRS info about who has a coverage with us.
You still have time to enroll in a plan. And we’re here to help you find one that fits your needs (yes, even if it’s in the last 10 minutes!)