The open enrollment period for mandatory health insurance is Monday, March 31, 2014. Unlike previous deadlines that were extended, the White House emphasizes this is a "hard" deadline with no extensions.
If you are a) uninsured and b) can afford health insurance and c) not enrolled by March 31, you qualify for the specified penalty for remaining without healthcare protection. Please note that this deadline does not apply to government programs, such as Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, in which you can enroll when you qualify.
There are two primary exceptions to the deadline rule.
- If you cannot afford any plan in the Healthcare Marketplace, e.g., you have no income, you’ll not be subject to penalties.
- If you have a "qualifying event," e.g., marriage, during the year, you’ll have the opportunity for a special open enrollment period after the event.
Be aware, the March 31 deadline is not just for the online health insurance exchanges. After that date, you won’t have the ability to buy coverage at all, unless you fit the exceptions noted above. The next open enrollment period–for 2015, not 2014–begins in November.
If you live or work near Lombard, Illinois, and have more questions, contact Steve Wilk Insurance, your local expert on all forms of personal, business and health insurance. Steve Wilk Insurance professionals have the answers you need to comply and get affordable coverage.