Open Enrollment for new 2015 Health Insurance is almost over. Sunday, February 15, 2015, is the deadline to apply for a new plan or change your current plan. During Open Enrollment, anyone can apply for a new health plan--both On the Marketplace (subsidy-eligible plans) AND Off the Marketplace (non-subsidy-eligible plans).
Starting at 12am on February 16, you'll only be able to get new coverage in 2015 if you have a Qualifying Life Event or QLE (marriage, new birth/adoption, move to a new state, lose your job, involuntarily lose health coverage from a job, etc.). If you don't have a QLE, you'll have to wait until Open Enrollment begins for 2016 coverage.
What if you miss the February 15 deadline this Sunday and don't get health coverage at all in 2015?
Unfortunately, you'll have to pay a penalty for not having health coverage in 2015.
The penalty for NOT having health coverage in 2015 is: 2% of your income or $325 per uncovered household member– whichever is higher.
So, what are your options?
- Search for a plan that covers everyone in your household. You might qualify for a tax credit or subsidy to help lower your monthly premium payments.
>> Gold & Platinum Plans
Upside: richer plans with lower deductibles; usually offers set Doctor and RX copays
Downside: you pay a higher monthly premium
>> Silver Plans
Upside: mid-range deductibles; usually offers set Doctor and RX copays, mid-range monthly premium
Downside: might have a separate RX deductible you'll need to meet before it pays for ALL of your RX
>> Bronze Plans
Upside: low monthly premium, usually pays 100% after you reach your deductible
Downside: high deductible ($5000-6000), usually does NOT include Doctor or RX copays before deductible (a few do offer a limited number of Doctor visits with a Copay--but once you reach that limit, you pay 100% of the bill until you reach your deductible)
- Don't want to buy a plan? You don't have to--but remember, you'll have to pay the penalty when you file your tax return for 2015.
Need help making the decision? Let us know--we're here to help!