The Affordable Care Act (also called ACA or Obamacare) set new rules for how insurance companies offer health insurance. Health insurance (also called health coverage or health plan) helps you pay for medical care. Some of the new rules affect what health care services and providers an insurance plan is required to cover.
Important Dates for 2016 Enrollment
- November 1, 2015: Start of 2016 Open Enrollment Period — The first day you can enroll in a 2016 Marketplace plan.
- January 1, 2016: First date 2016 coverage can start.
- January 31, 2016: 2016 Open Enrollment ends.
If you don’t enroll in a 2016 plan by January 31, 2016, you can’t enroll in a health insurance plan for 2016 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
If you don’t have coverage in 2016, you may have to pay a fee. The fee is higher in 2016 than it was in 2015. If you don’t have coverage in 2016, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:
- 2.5% of your yearly household income
- $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18)
In future years, the fee is adjusted for inflation. You’ll pay the fee on the federal income tax return you file for the year you don’t have coverage. Most people will file their 2014 returns in early 2015 and their 2015 returns in early 2016.