Washington Special Enrollment Rules for Obamacare (Affordable Care Act or ACA)

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Obamacare > What Happens If You Missed the Obamacare Sign-Up Deadline? > Washington

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What Happens If I Missed the Washington Obamacare Enrollment Deadline for 2016?

For 2016, Obamacare's open enrollment period ended on January 31. That means it’s too late for most people to use a health insurance exchange to get coverage for 2016.

If you let the Obamacare 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 Obamacare outside of open enrolllment. These include:

  • moving to a new state
  • having a baby or adopting a child
  • getting married or divorced
  • losing coverage under your parents’ plan
  • 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, contact Washington Healthplanfinder.

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 Washington's health insurance marketplace or by contacting Washington’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 2016, the penalty will be $695 per adult plus $347.50 per child (with a family maximum of $2,085) or 2% 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 Washington Healthplanfinder During the Next Open Enrollment Period

For coverage beginning in 2017, open enrollment starts on November 1, 2016 and will continue through January 31, 2017.

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