The Special Enrollment Period the federal Marketplace granted for those individuals who did not meet the February 15th deadline for Open Enrollment is ending April 30th. This could be your last chance to enroll in a health insurance policy until January, 2016. This Special Enrollment Period is not for everyone, but if it applies to you, you could have one last opportunity to get insured.
In an effort to enroll as many Americans as possible, the federal government installed this Special Enrollment Period for people who meet the following three criteria: 1) you were not insured in 2014; 2) you had to pay a tax penalty when you filed your 2014 taxes; 3) you will attest to the fact that you were unaware of the tax penalty or did not fully understand the implications of that penalty. If these criteria apply to you, you have 6 more days to complete an application for health insurance with the federal Marketplace. Keep in mind, your application must be completed and submitted by midnight April 30th, meaning you have selected a health plan and your application has been sent to Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC. Depending on your effective date, however, you may still have a period of time before you will need to make your first premium payment.
Once this Special Enrollment Period ends, your opportunity to enroll in health insurance becomes much more limited. Under the rules of the Affordable Care Act, for the remainder of 2015 you will need to have a Qualifying Life Event in order to purchase health insurance. If you do not have a Qualifying Life Event, you will have to wait until Open Enrollment 2016 begins in November and you will not have health coverage until January 2016. Also, don’t forget that the tax penalty, sometimes called the “individual mandate,” for being uninsured is increasing in 2015 and instead of paying $95 per person or 1% of your household income (whichever is greater), next year you will pay $325 per person or 2% of your household income (whichever is greater). The tax penalty will increase again for 2016.
The bottom line is it doesn’t pay to be uninsured. Not only are you running the risk of incurring potentially devastating health care bills, you are also not able to maintain your health and wellness through regular preventive care physicals and health maintenance. If you are one of the many Americans who are still able to enroll in health coverage under the Special Enrollment Period ending April 30th, take advantage of this opportunity to get insured! Instead of throwing money away on tax penalties, make an investment in your wellness and peace of mind. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is pleased to provide the residents of NC with quality health coverage at a competitive price. Don’t wait another minute!
For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health insurance coverage, the Marketplace and healthcare gov to apply for your subsidy, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents. Let us help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama care.