CMS Creates Special Enrollment Period for People Unaware of ACA Penalties

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has created a “special enrollment period” from March 15 through April 30 for people who failed to obtain health insurance in 2014 and owe an Affordable Care Act-mandated fee when they file their taxes this season.
 
The regular enrollment period closed earlier this week, but the special period will accommodate people who did not realize the new penalty was in effect until they began preparing their 2014 federal income taxes. The New York Times reports that nearly 6 million taxpayers owe the penalty for 2014.
 
The special enrollment period will not affect penalties assessed for 2014, but will allow those who take advantage of it to avoid being assessed the penalty again for this year. It applies only to people who live in the 37 states that use the federally facilitated marketplace, though several states with their own marketplaces, including Minnesota, Washington and Vermont, have similarly extended enrollment periods, according to the Wall Street Journal. Other states are considering doing the same.
 
Individuals and families taking advantage of the federal special enrollment period must attest that they have paid their penalties for 2014 and must obtain coverage through HealthCare.gov.


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