Facing a Tax Penalty for Lack of Health Insurance?

By Max Friedman

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????CT’s Special Enrollment Period Starts April 1

State residents who face a tax penalty for not having health insurance will get one last chance to enroll this April. This special enrollment period applies to people who had no health plan in 2014, and have not yet enrolled for coverage in 2015. Starting April 1, Access Health CT will open a special enrollment period through April 30. Enrollment in April will help the state’s uninsured reduce the fine they would otherwise face in next year’s tax season.

Touting the special enrollment period, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman noted “Connecticut’s exchange has enrolled more than 552,000 residents over the past two years. This is great progress, and we continue efforts to try to reach anyone who still doesn’t have insurance. Anyone who wants access to affordable healthcare can get it through Access Health CT.”

Arielle Levin Becker of the Connecticut Mirror provides an outline of the special enrollment period. Here are some key details:

  • Residents can enroll on Access Health CT’s website, or by calling them at 1-855-805-4325.
  • The Special Enrollment period lasts from April 1 to 30. You must sign up by April 15 to start coverage on May 1. Any enrollments after that will start coverage on June 1.
  • The period is for those currently uninsured who have not had coverage at all in 2015 and are paying a tax penalty for lack of coverage in 2014.
  • Enrollees will have to attest that they didn’t enroll in coverage and only learned about the mandate when doing their taxes this year, but will not have to provide any proof.
  • Enrolling in April won’t eliminate a tax penalty, but since it’s prorated it can be reduced. The penalty for not having coverage in all in 2015 is $325 per person or 2 percent of household income, whichever is greater.
  • After April 30, residents will be unable to purchase insurance on Access Health CT for coverage in 2015, unless they have a qualifying life event, such as losing insurance, getting married or divorced, or no longer qualifying for Medicaid. (We explained this process last fall.)
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