It’s not the most exciting date in your day planner, but it is a crucial one: February 15, 2015 – The last day to renew or change your current healthcare plan. Exhilarating right? Maybe not, but we’re here to give you the details you need in order to stay covered next year.
Tardiness = Trouble in the Marketplace
If you miss this divine date, healthcare.gov says you cannot buy Marketplace health coverage for 2015 unless you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Some basic qualifiers for this special period would be any life-changing event like moving, getting married, or having a baby.
That said, If you miss the open enrollment deadline, you can always apply for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program at any time. If you qualify for either of these programs, your coverage will start right away.
My coverage begins when?
When buying a package, you probably want to know when the coverage becomes effective. Well, when you buy a plan between the 1st and the 15th of the month your coverage will begin on the 1st of the next month.
If you buy coverage between the 16th and the last day of the month, your coverage begins on the first day of the second month. For instance, if you enroll on March 16, your coverage won’t begin until May 1.
Why bother with coverage?
Do you consider yourself one that takes risks? If you’re contemplating taking your chances without health insurance, realize there might be a price to pay. The penalty fee for forgoing coverage has actually increased since 2014. So, in 2015 your penalty would be 2% of your income or $325 per adult/$162.50 per child. The grand total will be based off of whichever scenario is higher.
Small business owners, you’re in luck!
If you’re a small business owner looking to provide health insurance for your employees, rest assured knowing you can enroll in SHOP at any time. A small business eligible for this coverage must have no more than 50 employees.
Come see us!
So there you have it! Save the dates for these special healthcare happenings. If you would like to learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace, visit healthcare.gov. If you want to speak with someone face to face, don’t be afraid to visit us at Smallwood and Small to speak with an agent about receiving the best deal on your health insurance coverage. Or call us at (304) 263-3361.
Photo Credit:“Calendar” by Dafne Cholet licensed under CC BY 2.0
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