CoveredCA, Open Enrollment and Tax Penalty

Tons of people are confused by the open enrollment window, which was established by the Affordable Care Act.  You may not know it but there are now only specific times during the year when you can enroll in health insurance.  If you do not enroll in the open enrollment window, you have to verify that you have experienced a “life changing event” that would create a special enrollment period for you.  These include death, divorce, loss of group health insurance and marriage.

The open enrollment of CoveredCA mirrors the open enrollment of all individual and family plans.  Some carriers have special rules to help you get covered, such as Cigna’s extended open enrollment and Health Net’s qualifying events.  You might be able to obtain coverage with one of these two insurance carriers mid-year, even though it’s outside of the open enrollment window.

Many are not aware of the tax penalty for not having health insurance.  Unlike the mandate that all drivers have car insurance, there is actually a financial cost for not having insurance.  That kicks in now and we’re getting lots of tax questions!  While we can help you get the proper insurance, these questions are best answered by your tax professional.