Although the deadline for 2016 health coverage with an effective date of January 1st has already passed, Open Enrollment is not over yet! In fact, this year’s Open Enrollment continues through January 31st, 2016 and you can still apply in as little as ten minutes. If you have a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), you may still be able to get a January 1st effective date, but for most people, that effective date will no longer be available. Here are the remaining important dates to keep in mind:
If you want your coverage to begin February 1st, you need to submit your application by midnight, January 15th.
If you want your coverage to begin March 1st, you need to submit your application by midnight January 31st.
The only thing that can change these effective dates is if you have a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) that makes you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Qualifying Life Events include things like loss of minimum essential coverage through an employer or through Medicaid, a marriage, a move and more. Check out the list of Qualifying Life Events, but keep in mind that your QLE must have occurred within the last 60 days in order for you to be eligible.
In addition, keep in mind these important facts:
If you do not enroll in a health plan during Open Enrollment (Nov. 1st, 2015- Jan. 31st, 2016) you will not be able to enroll in health insurance until the next Open Enrollment unless you have a Qualifying Life Event that makes you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. This is not a Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina rule, but a federal law under the Affordable Care Act with which BCBSNC must comply.
If you are uninsured for three consecutive months during 2016, you may be subject to a federal income tax penalty when you file your income taxes for 2016. Click here for information on 2016 tax penalties.
You can still apply for health insurance both on and off the federal Marketplace in as little as ten minutes. You can apply for both health insurance and a federal subsidy through a simple, straight-forward online application or over the phone with one of our licensed agents.
Don’t let another year go by without securing the health coverage you need for you and your family. For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina insurance coverage, 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.