Act Now! Federal Government Announces Extension to the Open Enrollment Period!

extension­to­the­open­enrollment­periodThe federal government has just announced an extension to the Open Enrollment Period (OEP), the annual period during which Americans can sign up for health insurance. However, this extended enrollment period isn’t available to everyone. Who qualifies for the expanded period to sign up for health insurance?

This might be the first time ever that NOT filing your taxes is a good thing

Because the amount of the government subsidy you receive for help with paying your insurance premium depends upon how much money you earn, you have to file your taxes in order to qualify for the subsidy. That way, if the government gives you a subsidy. In the following year when you file your taxes and to realize that you made more money than you thought you would, the government will ask for that excess money back.

But if you never filed your taxes for 2014, then that reconciliation never occurred, and you can’t qualify for subsidies to help with your insurance premiums this year.

President Obama to the rescue!

The details of this enrollment extension are that as long as you go ahead and file your 2014 taxes, you can STILL get health insurance for this year. You can even qualify for a subsidy to help with the payments. But again, you’ve got to file your taxes for 2014 first, and complete the reconciliation process.

Without those tax credits, many people likely found their plans to be unaffordable, so they dropped them, or they tried to enroll during the 2016 OEP (November 1 through January 31) and could not sign up because they had not filed their 2014 taxes. With this new sign­up extension, those people are eligible to go back and pick up health insurance again.

How many people does this affect?

It’s likely that there aren’t that many people affected by this change. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates the number at less than 100,000 people. If you’re one of these people, you still have 2 weeks to get your taxes filed and get coverage.

This is the first OEP during which the provision for filing taxes has been enforced, and as a result, the federal government says it wants to ensure that there’s no confusion surrounding the tax­filing requirement.

  Date posted: Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
Category: Health Care Reform, Health Insurance

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