January 1, 2014 Healthcare Reform became law, mandating health insurance coverage for all U.S. citizens. Applicable health insurance coverage can be an employer plan or an individual (or family) policy purchased through the public exchange or private marketplace.
Special Enrollment Period Qualifications
A Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for health coverage is allowed within 60 days of qualifying life events such as:
- Losing minimum essential health coverage
- Getting married
- Permanently relocating to a new area that offers different health plan options
- Having/adopting/placement of a child
- Change in income
- Loss of Medicaid eligibility
- COBRA expiration
Don’t Have Coverage? Get Ready to Pay a Penalty
In order to ensure all Americans have health insurance, penalties are enforced for those who go without coverage. Penalties are assessed on the federal income tax return you file for the year you don’t have coverage.
Fees are adjusted annually for inflation:
- 2016 – $695 per adult OR 2.5% of annual income (whichever is greater.)