In February, CMS, the federal agency that is responsible to regulate “Obamacare,” announced that there would be a Special Election Period (S.E.P.) for those Americans who did not have government approved health insurance in 2014 and owe the new “Shared Responsibility Payment,” formerly known as the “Penalty.”
During this S.E.P. Americans who qualify have a second chance to enroll in an “Obamacare” compliant health insurance plan. However, there is some confusion.
In order to qualify for this S.E.P. Americans must…
- Complete their 2014 tax return
- Owe the “Shared Responsibility Payment for 2014
- Not have enrolled in a compliant plan, for 2015, during the Annual Election Period
The official S.E.P. starts on March 15 and goes until April 30. During that time, all Americans who qualify, may enroll in a compliant plan through Healthcare.gov.
However, here in Texas, one insurance company has gotten permission to start the enrollment a week early. Texans who enroll between March 9 and March 15 are eligible for an April 1 effective date.
That is important because the law that authorized “Obamacare” allows an individual to remain uninsured for 3 months, each year, without being subject to the “Penalty.” As long as Texans do not lapse their health insurance policy, later in 2015, they will escape the “Shared Responsibility Payment” for 2015.
In order to do that, Texans, must fax the completed paper application by March 15. Texans may print off a copy of the application at the link above. Once it is complete, fax it to 281-342-6217.
Texans may obtain plan descriptions and premium rates by clicking here.
Please note that all insurance companies do not offer early enrollment. This option, is the only one available, in TX, from the health insurance companies with which I am contracted.