What Happens If I Missed the Massachusetts Obamacare Enrollment Deadline for 2017?
For 2017, open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act ended on January 31. That means it’s too late for most people to use a health insurance exchange to get coverage for 2017.
If you let the ACA deadline pass you by this year, here are some things to know.
You Can Still Enroll If You Qualify for a “Special Enrollment” Period
Certain life events make you eligible to sign up for health insurance outside of open enrolllment. The circumstances under which you may qualify for special enrollment include:
- moving to a new state
- having a baby or adopting a child
- getting married or divorced
- leaving a job and losing your insurance
- losing coverage under your parents’ plan
- losing coverage because someone on your plan has died
- losing other types of health insurance
- gaining status as a member of an Indian tribe
- becoming an American citizen, or
- getting out of prison.
If you already have health insurance coverage through the marketplace, you may also qualify for a special enrollment period if you experience a change in income or household status that affects your eligibility for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions
To learn more, visit Massachusetts Health Connector.
Enrollment Never Closes for Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program)
These programs are administered by states for low-income families and children, pregnant women, seniors, people with disabilities, and some other adults. You can apply for Medicaid and/or CHIP through Massachusetts's health insurance marketplace or by contacting Massachusetts’s Medicaid office.
You Can Buy Insurance Directly From an Insurance Company or Agent at Any Time
If you buy coverage outside the health insurance marketplace, your coverage will take effect soon after you pay your first premium, but you won’t qualify for the premium subsidies available through your state’s health insurance exchange.
You May Owe a Tax Penalty Next Year
For most people who don’t have insurance in 2017, the penalty will be $695 per adult plus $347.50 per child (with a family maximum of $2,085) or 2.5% of annual family income, whichever is greater. To find out how the penalty works and what you’ll owe, see How Much Is the Obamacare Tax Penalty?
You Can Buy a Health Plan From Massachusetts Health Connector During the Next Open Enrollment Period
Unless the Affordable Care Act is changed or repealed, open enrollment for 2018 will begin sometime in the fall of 2017.
You may also be interested in:
Five things Massachusetts residents need to know about the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), including whether you must get health insurance, how much it will cost, and how you can save money.
Learn where Massachusetts residents should go to get health plans under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and how to get help with the application process.
Learn the five factors that determine what Massachusetts residents will pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).