This article outlines the key dates and deadlines for Marketplace open enrollment, getting coverage, and avoiding the individual mandate penalty in 2015.
2015 Dates and Deadlines
November 15, 2014: Open enrollment begins for individual health insurance (i.e. Qualified Health Plans).
January 1, 2015: Earliest coverage date for plans purchased during the 2015 open enrollment period.
February 15, 2015: Open enrollment ends. If you miss this date, you will have to wait until fall 2015 to enroll, unless you have a qualifying life event such as a marriage, birth of a child, significant income change, or loss of job-based health insurance. Then, you can enroll during a special enrollment period.
November 15, 2015 - February 15, 2016: Open enrollment period for 2016 coverage.
|2015 Open Enrollment Period (for coverage in 2015)||November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015|
|Special Enrollment Period (after a qualifying event)||Generally 60 days from qualifying life event|
FAQ: What If I Miss Open Enrollment for an Individual Health Plan?
If you miss open enrollment, and have not enrolled in a health plan by February 15, 2015, you've likely missed your chance to buy coverage for the year -- unless you have a significant change in circumstance called a qualifying life event. There are several types of qualifying life events such as marriage, birth of a child, income change, loss of job-based health insurance, permanent move to a new area, etc.
If you miss the deadline, this also means you'll probably face a penalty for not having insurance. In 2015, the penalty is $325 per person up to a maximum of three times that amount for a family ($975), or 2% of household income if greater. Read more.