Are you ready for the March 31 health insurance deadline?

Affordable Care ActOpen enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act ends March 31.

The Ohio State Bar Association Insurance Agency (OSBAIA) can help make sense of the new marketplace and determine what coverage is the best fit for your specific situation.

You can generally buy Marketplace health insurance only during the annual Open Enrollment period. Upcoming dates to know include:

  • March 31, 2014: 2014 Open Enrollment ends;
  • Nov. 15, 2014: Proposed date for 2015 Open Enrollment to start; and
  • Jan. 15, 2015: Proposed date for 2015 Open Enrollment to end.
To buy Marketplace insurance outside Open Enrollment, you must qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of a job.

The fine in 2014 and beyond

The penalty in 2014 is calculated one of two ways. You will pay whichever of these amounts is higher:

  • One percent of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, $10,150 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average yearly premium for a bronze plan.
  • $95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.

The way the penalty is calculated, a single adult with household income below $19,650 would pay the $95 flat rate. A single adult with household income above $19,650 would pay an amount based on the 1 percent rate. (If income is below $10,150, no penalty is owed.)

The penalty increases every year. In 2015, it is 2 percent of income or $325 per person. In 2016 and later years, it is 2.5 percent of income or $695 per person. After that, it is adjusted for inflation.

If you are uninsured for just part of the year, 1/12 of the yearly penalty applies to each month you are uninsured. If you are uninsured for less than three months, you do not have to make a payment.

Learn more about the individual shared responsibility payment from the Internal Revenue Service.

Enroll by March 31, 2014 and you won’t have to make the individual shared responsibility payment

If you enroll in a health insurance plan through the Marketplace by March 31, 2014, you will not have to make the payment for any month before your coverage began.

For example, if you enroll in a Marketplace plan on March 31, your coverage begins on May 1. If you did not have coverage earlier in the year, you will not have to pay a fine for any of the previous months of 2014.

Contact Danna Blackburn or Tammy Thornton at the OSBAIA today at (614) 572-0616 or (855) 745-9222, or click here to find out more.



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