FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2015
Many New Yorkers Can Still Sign Up For Health Coverage Under the ACA During New Special Enrollment Period
Opportunity to avoid tax penalty for 2014
(New York, NY) NY State of Health, the State’s official online Health Plan Marketplace, has announced a special enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act for individuals and families who would receive a federal tax penalty for 2014 for not having health insurance coverage.
The new enrollment period starts March 1 and ends on April 30.
"This is an excellent opportunity for New Yorkers who might otherwise face a tax penalty for not enrolling in a health plan for 2015," said Seth Diamond, Chief Operating Office of MetroPlus Health Plan, the insurance plan of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC). MetroPlus enrolled more New York City residents than any other health plan during the 2013-2014 debut of NY State of Health's online Marketplace.
"The online Marketplace offers a choice of low-cost quality health plans," said Diamond. "It's also the only place you can receive financial assistance based on your income to lower your insurance costs even more. We strongly urge people who are eligible to sign up before the deadline, regardless of which insurance provider they choose.”
The Affordable Care Act imposes federal tax penalties on individuals who do not have health coverage. The penalty for those who are uninsured in 2015 and do not have an exemption will be either two percent of their family’s taxable income or $325 per household adult, whichever is greater. That will increase to the greater of two-and-a-half percent of income or $695 per adult in 2016.
"We know that doing your taxes is difficult enough for many New Yorkers, so understanding the tax implications associated with health coverage can make it all the more confusing,” said Diamond. "There are resources available to help simplify this. Many insurers offer help over the phone. MetroPlus customer service is available Monday to Saturday at 855-809-4073.
“There are also Marketplace Facilitated Enrollers (FEs), Navigators, brokers, agents and assistors available to help people enroll in the exchange in many different languages. The online Marketplace or an insurer like MetroPlus at 855-809-4073 can help consumers locate these resources."
"You don’t need a computer to apply for coverage,” Diamond said. “Consumers are encouraged to apply online, but they can also apply over the phone or in person.”
NY State of Health, the State’s official Health Plan Marketplace, is online at https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov. The Marketplace also has a helpline open Monday to Saturday at 855-355-5777.
In addition to those who have filed their 2014 taxes and paid a penalty, other New Yorkers are still eligible to enroll and receive health insurance, even though the open enrollment period has closed. Anyone who has experienced a “qualifying event” can still enroll through the marketplace. Qualifying events include: getting married, having a baby, adopting a child or placing a child for adoption or foster care, losing other health coverage, permanently moving outside your plan’s coverage area, gaining citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. Individuals who are eligible for Medicaid and Child Health Plus can enroll year round.