Update: The deadline for consumers to sign up for coverage through ACA Marketplaces has been extended until December 19th, for coverage beginning January 1, 2017.
Thursday (December 15, 2016) is the last day to sign up for coverage to take effect on January 1, 2017. For consumers, this means that all plan and personal information must be up to date, plans must be selected, and all re-enrollments must be completed. For those that do not enroll in coverage by December 15, coverage may not take effect until February 2017.
— HHS.gov (@HHSGov) December 13, 2016
Why is this deadline important?
While consumers can select coverage and enroll up until January 31, 2017, there are significant benefits to doing so by December 15th:
Avoid Health Coverage Lapses
Consumers that enroll by December 15th can avoid breaks or lapses in coverage, or losing coverage, between the 2016 and 2017 benefit years. Avoiding coverage lapses can also help consumers dodge related consequences that are enforced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Steer Clear of Costly Penalties
Not having coverage in 2017 could result in costly penalties as result of the individual mandate. In 2017, the individual mandate penalty is $695 per uninsured adult and $347.50 per child (up to $2,085 per household) or 2.5 percent of household income above the tax-filing threshold, whichever amount is greater .
Be sure to sign up your clients by December 15th!
The views and opinions expressed by the authors on this blog website and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Softheon, Inc. (dba Welltheos).
I earned my BAA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and MBA in Healthcare Administration from the University of Ohio (Athens). I was born and raised on Long Island, NY and enjoy capturing what the island has to offer through photography.
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