If you haven’t signed up for health care you need to get on it. The deadline for open enrollment is next Monday, March 31st. Insurance expert, Paul LoNigro of Group Insurance Analysts, explained that if you sign up by next Monday your coverage will begin on May 1st and run through the end of the year.
If you miss this deadline you will not have another opportunity to get health insurance until the next open enrollment period or with a qualifying event; i.e. you got married, changed jobs, or had a child. A side note worth mentioning is that becoming pregnant is not a life changing event and you will not receive coverage until after the child is born.
LoNigro says one new provision was added last week for those who start “their Peak application (Medicaid determination) by March 31st but do not receive their answer immediately, they will be allowed to enroll after 3/13/14 at the time they get that determination.”
If you choose not to sign up by the deadline, you will not be able to add it when something disastrous happens and you will still be 100% responsible for your medical costs. Your home owners insurance would not cover your home when it’s on fire. It is the same with health insurance. Your coverage must be in place before an event happens.
Colorado’s open enrollment for 2015 coverage begins November 15th, 2014 and runs through February 15th, 2015. Registering for health insurance in November will provide coverage that starts January 1st, 2015.
Should you choose to remain uninsured, you will be subject to a fine and you are still 100% responsible for the cost of your health care.
According to the www.healthcare.gov site, “the penalty in 2014 is calculated one of 2 ways. You’ll pay whichever of these amounts is higher:
- 1% 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.”
In Colorado if you would like to sign up for health coverage before the deadline, contact an insurance broker like Group Insurance Analyst, 303-423-0162 x100 or visit the Colorado Health Exchange at http://connectforhealthco.com/.
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