The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has just announced a special enrollment period beginning on March 15th and continuing through April 30th.  Here is how you qualify:

  • You currently are not enrolled in coverage through the FFM for 2015,
  • You attest that when you filed your 2014 tax return you paid the fee for not having health coverage in 2014, and
  • You attest that you first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the Shared Responsibility Payment after the end of open enrollment (February 15, 2015) in connection with preparing your 2014 taxes.

This is a great opportunity for people who missed the original open enrollment period to obtain health insurance and avoid further IRS penalties.  It is our understanding that health insurance will be offered only through the Marketplace and that Off-Marketplace policies offered directly by the insurance carriers will not be available.  Of course, this is subject to change, and we will update our website as information becomes available.

Last but not least, it’s important for folks to understand that they don’t have to qualify for a subsidy in order to get health insurance on the government Marketplace during this special enrollment period. It also is important to remember that using a licensed, certified broker and agent like ours at Benefits By Design costs you nothing.  Our agents can guide you through the process and help you make an informed decision.  Keep in mind that we are there for you 24/7 after you buy the policy if you have a claims or provider issue, which is far different from trying to purchase health insurance yourself or off of some marketing company’s website.

This is a great opportunity for those who missed the boat on open enrollment the first time, and folks should definitely take advantage of this opportunity beginning March 15th.

Cary Hall

America’s Healthcare Advocate