What Happens If I Missed the Massachusetts Obamacare Enrollment Deadline for 2018?
For 2018, in most states, open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act ended on December 15. That means it’s too late for most people to use a health insurance exchange to get coverage for 2018.
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
Medicaid is administered by states for low-income families and individuals, people with disabilities, and some other adults. You can apply for Medicaid 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 of 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?
The penalty amounts for people who go without insurance in 2018 have not yet been announced, but they are expected to increase slightly.
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 2019 will begin sometime in the fall of 2018.
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