Et tu, Special Enrollment?

Brokers may have to cancel a much needed spring break due to today’s CMS announcement of a new – one time – special enrollment period that will begin March 15, 2015 and end April 30, 2015. The special enrollment will give people an opportunity to enroll in coverage so they don’t face another tax penalty next year for not having coverage this year.

In order to qualify for the exemption you must:

  • Attest that you had to pay a penalty for not having coverage in 2014
  • Not currently be enrolled in an exchange plan
  • Claim that you just found out you would have to pay a penalty for not having coverage when you filed your tax return.

There are no estimates at this time of how many people will benefit from this special enrollment. One must wonder whether previous enrollment efforts that minimized the penalties that individuals could face for not having coverage contributed to the need for this “tax avoidance” special enrollment.

Some individuals were willing to risk a $95 penalty for not having coverage. Perhaps the penalty for not having coverage in 2015 which jumps to the greater of 2% of household income or $325 per adult will stimulate action.