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Open enrollment to apply for 2015 health insurance begins on November 15, 2014! Rates will be available at that time.

Help Paying Your Premiums: Government Subsidy
Like last year, lower-income households have the option to receive a subsidy from the government to help pay for health insurance premiums. The Affordable Care Act states that people that are between 133%-400% of the federal poverty line may be eligible for some help paying their premiums. There are a lot of factors involved in this including your age, income, and where you live.

The subsidy is a tax credit against your 2015 income tax liability. If you are unsure about whether or not you qualify for the subsidy, you can complete the subsidy application for a eligibility determination.

Here are some key dates for this year:

Effective Date : Application Date
January 1, 2015: Apply between November 15 and December 15, 2014
February 1, 2014: Apply between December 16, 2014 and January 15, 2015
March 1, 2014: Apply between January 16, 2014 and February 15, 2014

This year’s open enrollment is shorter than last year’s, so be sure to apply before February 15, 2015.

Individual Mandate & IRS Penalty
If you do NOT apply for health insurance during open enrollment, you will have to experience a qualifying life event during the remainder of the year in order to apply for health insurance. Otherwise, your only option outside of an employer plan is a short-term, catastrophic plan (which can be set up at any time). Note – the short-term plans do NOT meet the requirements of a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) according to the Affordable Care Act, and you could be subject to an IRS tax penalty.

In 2015, if you do not carry a health insurance plan that qualifies as minimum essential coverage, you could be penalized the higher of these two amounts:

  • 2% of income (only amount above the tax filing threshold is penalized – income over ~$10,000) OR
  • $325 per adult and/or $162.50 per child under age 18. The maximum penalty under this method is $975

Everyone’s situation is different. Many things changed last year, and the new laws can be difficult to understand. Please call me anytime for individual advice.

The premiums are the same whether you work with a broker or go directly to the government website at www.healthcare.gov. Please utilize a broker. I was certified to offer health insurance during the first national open enrollment and am certified again for 2015. I have completed countless hours of training and education on healthcare reform. There are MANY plans out there, and I can help you determine a plan that works for you and your family. I look forward to helping you protect your family!