Affordable Care Act

Last Two Deadlines Looming For Health Insurance Coverage In 2016

Uninsured Americans have until Jan. 31 to enroll in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. But if you do it by Friday, January 15, there’s the added benefit of the coverage starting on February 1.

It’s not as exciting as the Powerball deadline, but will affect far more people.

Friday is the last day to enroll in an Obamacare plan, if you want the coverage to begin by February 1.

The final deadline is January 31. If you’re not signed up by then, enrollment is closed for the rest of the year.

Helpful links

Make an appointment with a Houston-area enrollment counselor: Enroll Gulf Coast

National enrollment website Healthcare.gov or call (800) 318-2596

Find a licensed insurance broker or agent: National Association of Health Underwriters zip code search.

More than 11.3 million Americans have already signed up, according to Mary Wakefield, an acting deputy secretary with the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, 1.1 million are Texans.

In the Greater Houston area, almost 300,000 people have picked insurance plans so far.

Wakefield says the website’s previous flaws have been fixed. The healthcare.gov site now has a new online tool that makes comparing plans easier. The tool helps calculate and compare the total costs of insurance plans: not just the monthly premiums, but also the deductible and the tax credits available.

“We have unprecedented traffic to that website this year, more than at any other time in the history of the Affordable Care Act,” Wakefield said.  

If you don’t have health insurance in  2016, and you don’t have an exemption of some sort, you’ll face a tax penalty. Depending on how it’s calculated, it could go as high as $2,000 for some people.

 

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