Open Enrollment Period for Individual Health Insurance By Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley 10/22/2015 This is the yearly period when people can enroll in a health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. For 2016 coverage, the Open Enrollment Period is November 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016. People may qualify for Special Enrollment Periods allowing them to enroll outside of Open Enrollment if they have certain life events, like getting married, having a baby, or losing other coverage. Important dates for 2016 enrollment November 1, 2015: Open Enrollment starts — first day you can enroll in a 2016 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2016. Plans and prices for 2016 will be available by late October or early November 2015. December 15, 2015: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start January 1, 2016. January 1, 2016: 2016 coverage starts for those who enroll or change plans by December 15. January 15, 2016: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start February 1, 2016 January 31, 2016: 2016 Open Enrollment ends. Enrollments or changes between January 16 and January 31 take effect March 1, 2016. If you don’t enroll in a 2016 health insurance plan by January 31, 2016, you can’t enroll in a health insurance plan for 2016 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. This is a time outside of the open enrollment period during which you and your family have a right to sign up for health coverage. In the Marketplace, you qualify for a special enrollment period 60 days following certain life events that involve a change in family status (for example, marriage or birth of a child) or loss of other health coverage. Job-based plans must provide a special enrollment period of 30 days. Medicaid & CHIP – Apply any time There’s no limited enrollment period for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can apply any time. MD – Contact the Worcester County Health Dept. at 410-632-1100 DE – Contact the Dept. of Social services at 800-372-2022 If you don’t have coverage in 2016, you may have to pay a fee. The fee is higher in 2016 than it was in 2015. The fee for not having health coverage in 2016 If you don’t have health insurance in 2016, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts: · 2.5% of your yearly household income (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,150 for an individual in 2014, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a Bronze plan. · $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18) The maximum penalty per family using this method is $2,085. Please contact our Life & Health Department at Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley for answers to your questions.