Special enrollment period announced for health insurance

Published 1:47 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2015

If you’re in the process of filing your 2014 taxes and learn you’re going to be penalized for not having health insurance in 2014, you may qualify for a special enrollment period to obtain coverage for 2015. From March 15 until April 30, the government will open a special enrollment period. By obtaining 2015 coverage before April 30, you may avoid paying a tax penalty in 2015 — and you will have health insurance that will help cover your family in the event of injury or illness. Just as it did for the most recent open enrollment period, Southampton Memorial Hospital can help with enrollment.

For individuals who were unaware or didn’t understand the implications of the tax penalty for not enrolling in coverage, this special enrollment period will provide an extended opportunity to purchase health insurance coverage for 2015. To qualify, an uninsured individual must meet these qualifications:

• The uninsured individual will need to state they had to pay a penalty for not having coverage in the 2014 tax year.

• The uninsured individual cannot be currently enrolled in a plan on HealthCare.gov.

• The uninsured individual only found out they were going to have to pay a tax penalty when they were preparing their 2014 tax return.

Those who did not qualify for an exemption and went without health coverage in 2014 will pay a tax penalty of $95 per adult or 1 percent of their income, whichever is greater ­— when they file their taxes for 2014. Unless uninsured consumers take advantage of this special enrollment period, they may have to pay a tax penalty when filing their 2015 income taxes. The penalty will increase to $325 per adult or 2 percent of income for 2015.

“The good news is based on household income and dependents, some individuals may qualify for financial assistance from the government — or subsidies — toward the cost of the premium and other financial obligations like co-pays or deductibles,” said Kim Marks, CEO.

The application counselors at Southampton Memorial Hospital stand ready to assist the still uninsured in our community. “We can help individuals and their families evaluate the available health plans and determine if they’re eligible for Medicaid or other insurance options.”

It’s not too late, but the deadline is April 30 and individuals must meet certain qualifications. For more information, contact Southampton Memorial Hospital at 562-6100.