The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a new “special enrollment period” for individuals who attest they first learned of the individual mandate to have health insurance after the open enrollment had concluded and they learned of the tax upon completion of their taxes.
The individual mandate applies to all people with incomes above the federal poverty level and that they must enroll in health coverage or face a penalty of $325 per person, or 2% of household income, whichever is larger.
The new “special enrollment period” runs from March 15th, 2015-April 30th, 2015. A projected 44% of uninsured people who are expected to be penalized for not having coverage have heard nothing, or only a little, about the tax penalties, according to research by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It also revealed 65% of those expected to pay the penalty had either not known about the health care exchanges, didn’t know the date of the open enrollment deadline, or assumed it was in March.
Those individuals taking advantage of the new enrollment period will still owe a fee for the months they were uninsured and didn’t receive an exemption in 2014 and 2015. This “special enrollment period” is designed to grant these people the chance to get covered for the rest of the year and elude additional fees for 2015.
The federal government website, HealthCare.gov has added a new tool to help people determine whether they are eligible for a hardship exemption from the requirement to have insurance.
As always, please reach out to our government relations team with any questions. We always welcome your feedback! Email: Bbochniak@michbusiness.org (888) 277-6464.