Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), open enrollment for 2014 health insurance runs through March 31, 2014.
We are well into February. If you have not yet enrolled in coverage, you may need some convincing as to why you should not wait until the last minute.
Here are three compelling reasons to enroll in health insurance before March 31:
- Avoid the Rush
If you think back to the days leading up to the end of 2013 when everyone who wanted their coverage to begin on January 1 was trying to get enrolled, then you understand the mess that can result from everyone flooding the system with applications at the same time. Insurance companies struggled to keep up with enrollments and some people even today have not gotten confirmation of coverage. Enrolling now will help avoid that rush.
- Get Covered as Soon as Possible
The date you enroll in coverage determines the effective date of that coverage (see chart below). If you enroll on or before the 15th of the month, your coverage is effective the first day of the next month. Enrolling between the 16th and the last day of the month means you will wait until the first day of the month after next for your coverage to kick in. Why take the chance of getting sick before you’re covered?
- Enroll Before February 15, 2014 to Avoid Filing an Exemption
ACA dictates that a penalty tax is assessed if you go for three consecutive months without coverage. Therefore, if you don’t yet have insurance, you have a grace period — until March 31, 2014 — before you will be assessed a penalty. But, here is where it gets a little complicated. The date you enroll is not the same as the date the coverage is actually effective:
If you apply between … Your coverage will be effective … January 16, 2014 – February 15, 2014 March 1, 2014 February 16, 2014 – March 15, 2014 April 1, 2014 March 16, 2014 – March 31, 2014 May 1, 2014
Enrolling after February 15, 2014 means your coverage will be effective — at the earliest — April 1. If you are not actually covered by March 31, 2014 you will need to file a hardship exemption on your 2014 income tax return to avoid being assessed the penalty tax.
As the image above states, Go on, DO IT NOW! Give us a call today so you can get enrolled in coverage right away. You can also click on the buttons in the upper right hand column to get instant quotes. Virginia residents, if you think you may be eligible for a subsidy, click here for more information. Maryland and DC residents click here.
Reach us by phone 1-800-867-0800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, but don’t delay!