This article outlines key dates and deadlines for getting health coverage during this year's annual open enrollment period and for avoiding the individual mandate penalty in 2015.
2015 Open Enrollment Dates and Deadlines
November 15, 2014: Open enrollment began for individual health insurance (i.e. Qualified Health Plans).
- December 15, 2014: Deadline to apply if you would like coverage to start by January 1, 2015.
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 of 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.
October 15, 2015 - December 7, 2015: Open enrollment period for 2016 coverage (subject to change).
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.