2016 Healthcare Open Enrollment FACTS & FIGURES!
2016 Open Enrollment is fast approaching. Hurry! Grab your calendar! It is time for you to mark some VERY important dates on your calendars. If you miss these dates, it could mean the difference between paying healthcare penalty fees or not.
The following dates relating to obtaining health insurance coverage have been posted by healthcare.gov:
Prices for health insurance plan rates purchased in the Health Insurance Marketplace will be published late October.
November 1, 2015:
This day marks the FIRST day of Open Enrollment. Starting on November first you can obtain healthcare coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Coverage can start as early as January 1, 2016.
December 15, 2015:
This is the very last day to enroll or change plans and still have them be in effect for January 1, 2016.
January 1, 2016:
This is the first day of coverage for those who purchased plans and enrolled by December 15, 2015.
January 15, 2016:
There is still time to get covered! This is the last day for you to obtain coverage or make changes to coverage and have them be in effect for February 2, 2016.
January 31, 2016:
This is the LAST day of open enrollment. All enrollments and changes administered between January 16 and January 31, 2016 will be in effect on March 1, 2016.
I Recorded the Dates and Deadlines, Now What?
There is a specific list of plans or policies that are NOT considered as “minimum essential coverage”. Those plans or services include:
- Vision Care
- Dental Care
- Workers’ Compensation
- Disease specific coverage
- Plans offering discounts on medical services
Below is a list of plans or options you can use and qualify as “covered” by health insurance:
- Purchase of any Marketplace health insurance plan
- Individual health insurance plans you may already have in place
- Health insurance offered by an employer
- Retirement plans
- COBRA Coverage
- Medicare Part A
- Medicare Part C
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Coverage on a parental plan if you are a dependent aged 26 years or younger
- Self-funded healthcare plans for students offered by universities*
- Peace Corps volunteers health coverage
- Certain veterans plans offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs
- Most TRICARE plans
- Department of Defense Non-appropriated Fund programs
- Refugee Medical Assistance
- State high risk pools**
*These plans are specific to policy years that began on or before December 31, 2014. Please check with the university for clarification and more information as to whether or not the plan is in line with “Minimum Essential Coverage” policies.
**Plans eligible are those that commenced on or before December 31, 2014.
What if I Don’t Get Health Insurance
Failure to Get Health Insurance Could Cost YOU!
What happens if you don’t enroll in a health insurance plan by January 31, 2016? You may have to pay a fee for failing to get health insurance coverage. The fee for not having health insurance in 2016 has INCREASED since 2015.
Here are some facts and figures you must consider before Open Enrollment Ends on January 31, 2016:
If you fail to get coverage in 2016 you could end up paying the higher of the two amounts listed below:
Dollar Amount #1: 2.5% of your annual household income
Dollar Amount #2: $695 per person (children under 18 are calculated at $347.50/child)
There are some other timing circumstances to take into consideration when talking about failure to have health insurance coverage. See the Q & A segment below:
Q: What if I was uncovered for a portion of the year?
A: You would pay 1/12 of the annual penalty for each month you were not insured.
NOTE: if you did not carry insurance for 2 months or less, you would not have to make a payment
Q: What if I was unemployed?
A: Penalty fees for not carrying insurance is based on your household income. If it is determined that healthcare insurance was unaffordable based on your income, you could possibly qualify for an exemption.
Other Important Questions You May Have…
How will I pay?
This payment will take place when you file your taxes. More specifically, it will be included on the tax return for the year you did not have health care insurance coverage. For example, if you did not have health insurance during 2015, you would pay the penalty fee when you file your taxes on or before April 15, 2016.
What will happen if I fail to pay the penalty fee for not having healthcare insurance?
The Internal Revenue Service will withhold the amount you owe from any tax refunds you may get in the future. You will NOT experience any:
- Criminal penalties
Now that you know, what is considered as minimal essential healthcare coverage, who needs it and by when, it’s time to get you covered! As “Your Obamacare Guy”, I am dedicated to help you get the best and most affordable health insurance plan for both you and your family. If you are confused, have questions or need help navigating through the Marketplace, call me! You can reach me at: (813) 391-3448 or email me: dave@YourObamacareGuy.com.