Miami-Dade County

Obamacare tax special enrollment period closes midnight Thursday

Mercy Cabrera (L), an insurance agent with Sunshine Life and Health Advisors, helps Amparo Gonzalez purchase an insurance policy under the Affordable Care Act at the store setup in the Westland Mall on Nov. 14, 2013, in Hialeah.
Mercy Cabrera (L), an insurance agent with Sunshine Life and Health Advisors, helps Amparo Gonzalez purchase an insurance policy under the Affordable Care Act at the store setup in the Westland Mall on Nov. 14, 2013, in Hialeah. Getty Images

Consumers who were fined in their 2014 taxes for not having health insurance have until midnight Thursday to sign up for a health plan under the Affordable Care Act or face a higher penalty next year.

Tax special enrollment began March 15 for those who were penalized in 2014 and had still not signed up for a plan, did not know about the initial open enrollment period from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15 and were unaware of the individual mandate to get covered.

The fee for foregoing coverage in 2014 was $95 or 1 percent of household income, whichever is greater. For those who fail to sign up at the end of tax special enrollment, the fee will increase: $325 or 2 percent of household income.

Once the period closes, only consumers who have a major life change, like having a baby, getting married or changing jobs, may be able to sign up for a plan on the ACA exchange.

Open enrollment for 2016 opens Nov. 1 and will run through Jan. 31, 2016.

Follow @MHhealth for health news from South Florida and around the nation.

This story was produced in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation

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