Consumer organizations have asked the Obama Administration for months to give people who find out during tax filing season that they owe a penalty for not buying health insurance another chance to enroll. Today Health & Human Services announced that they will do just that.
In meetings and public forums we have found that many people are confused about whether or not they will be fined for not having coverage. We, along with other consumer advocates, knew that thousands of folks will find out about the penalty when they file taxes. Before the announcement today, that would have been too late, as open enrollment for health insurance ended February 15.
In federal marketplace states like North Carolina this special enrollment period will run from March 15 to April 30 for those who are uninsured and learn that they must make the shared responsibility payment.
Here are additional parameters as outlined by HHS for taking advantage of this new enrollment opportunity:
- 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.
This is good news for North Carolinians and will help ensure that we aren’t penalizing people for not having reliable information.