WellFlorida News Release
Consumers who had to pay a penalty for not having health coverage in 2014 and still haven’t signed up this year have one more opportunity to enroll in healthcare coverage for 2015. Consumers can visit Healthcare.gov from March 15 to April 30 to sign up for health insurance and explore their financial assistance options.
“This special enrollment period is a wonderful opportunity for uninsured Floridians to get health care coverage for themselves and their families,” said Lauren Vagelakos of WellFlorida Council and Health Insurance Marketplace program manager in North Central Florida. “Financial help is available, so most consumers can find a plan that meets their needs and budget.”
Americans who do not qualify for an exemption and went without health coverage in 2014 will have to pay a fee known as a shared responsibility payment – $95 per adult or 1 percent of their income, whichever is greater – when they file their taxes this year. The fee increases to $325 per adult or 2 percent of their income for 2015. Consumers who enroll during this special enrollment period for tax season will owe a prorated fee for the time they were not covered in 2015, or must apply for an exemption.
To be eligible for this special enrollment period, consumers must:
· Not be enrolled in a Healthcare.gov plan for 2015;
· Have paid the fee for not having health coverage in 2014; and
· Attest that they first became aware of the Shared Responsibility Payment when they prepared their 2014 taxes.
Navigators are available to help consumers enroll during this special enrollment period – consumers can visit http://ncfnavigators.org for a calendar of Navigator events or contact the Navigator dedicated to their county.
Navigators will also be participating in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) events and events with other tax filing assistance organizations throughout the region where consumers can gain free tax help along with information on the Health Insurance Marketplace. VITA offers free tax help to people who generally make $53,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Locate VITA events on the Navigator website or http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers