Covered California Open Enrollment

The majority of those delaying health care enrollment….have it wrong!

Most everyone we talk with who, for one reason or another, think they can enroll for health insurance after the Covered California Open Enrollment period (3/31/2014)….are not going to be able to get protection for 2014!

Trying to apply on or after April Fool’s day will guarantee you not having health insurance protection for this year. The 2015 open enrollment period runs from 11/15/2014 to 2/15/2015. You and your assets will be fully exposed during the time you are uninsured.

There are very few exceptions and even fewer people who understand those exceptions. So let’s look at your options and some of the exceptions:

If you’re one of the majority not exempt from eligibility and choose not to enroll by 3/31/2014:

• You will pay a penalty at tax time. Modest the first year, but growing rapidly in subsequent years.
• You are fully responsible for any medical bills incurred while uninsured. These charges are not forgiven….your assets and future income are fully exposed for recovery of the charge.

Those few with a Qualifying Life Event may be able to enroll after the Covered California Open Enrollment period. A few Qualifying Life Events include:

• Getting Married
• Birth or adoption of a child (only the child may be enrolled at this time)
• Change of address to a new area with different plan options.
• Losing current health insurance resulting from job loss, divorce, loss of Medicaid or COBRA eligibility.
• Persons enrolled under Covered California having a change in income or household status that affects tax credits or cost sharing.

The Qualifying Life Event simply gives you a specific period of time in which you may enroll (usually 60 days). None of the qualifying events dismiss any penalties for which you may be responsible nor will any subsequent health insurance pay for expenses incurred prior to your effective date of coverage.