People Have Another Chance To Avoid Health Care Tax Penalty Thanks To Sign-Up Extension

New Marketplace Enrollment Period Will Last From March 15 To April 30

Stuart Rankin (CC-BY-NC-SA)

People who were uninsured last year have a chance to avoid a penalty on their future taxes, now that the federal government has extended the sign-up period for getting health coverage through the federally run marketplace.

The extended sign-up period will run from March 15 to April 30.

Under President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, Americans who didn’t have insurance in 2014 may owe a fine of $95 or as much as 1 percent of their income. If they remain uncovered this year, the fine could rise.

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Lauren Cnare is a licensed navigator with Covering Kids & Families in Madison.

“We think this will make a big difference as people start to talk. ‘Hey, I had to pay a fine and you should get insurance.’ Now people can,” said Cnare.

There are coverage exemptions, but the Treasury Department has estimated as many as 6 million people nationally may owe a penalty for not carrying insurance in 2014.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has declared that to be eligible for the special enrollment period, people must:

  • Live in states with a federally-facilitated marketplace;
  • Currently not be enrolled in coverage through the FFM for 2015;
  • Attest that when they filed their 2014 tax return they paid the fee for not having health coverage in 2014; and
  • Attest that they first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the Shared Responsibility Payment after the end of open enrollment (February 15) in connection with preparing their 2014 taxes.