Today, White House officials announced that the open enrollment deadline under the new healthcare law will not be extended past the March 31 deadline as some may have hoped. This leaves only one month left for individuals to sign up on the law’s exchanges for health care plans that start this year.
4 million Americans have now enrolled in health insurance plans since since Oct. 1 which is a big jump since the initial months of the program. This indicates the pace of applications is accelerating and as the March 31 deadline approaches millions of Americans may scramble to select a plan and get insurance before the cut off.
Starting April 1, if you’re looking to buy plans through the marketplace won’t be able to do so until open enrollment begins again on October 1. If you miss the deadline, you can sign up for insurance outside of the healthcare marketplace at any time – but you won’t receive any tax credits and you’ll likely be subject to a penalty for the time you were uninsured. There are some exceptions if you incur a “life event,” such as a change in jobs or marital status or moving to another state but the criteria is strict.
If you are without coverage come March 31, you will be fined $95 or 1 percent of your household income, whichever is greater. In 2015, that will increase to $325 per adult or 2 percent of income so be sure to enroll before the end of this month.