Issue Brief | Feb 25, 2015

Tax Season Special Enrollment Periods

Manatt Health Solutions

The second open enrollment period (OEP) under the Affordable Care Act ended on February 15, with more than 11.4 million people enrolled in coverage through the Federal and state Marketplaces.  Attention now turns to the 2014 tax filing season.  Many tax filers who were uninsured for all or part of 2014 are learning for the first time that they must pay a penalty, and have missed the opportunity to enroll in 2015 coverage.  These gaps in consumer awareness, combined with the timing of this year’s OEP, have led to several Marketplaces allowing certain uninsured consumers additional time to enroll in order to avoid paying a penalty next year.

The Federal government and nine State-based Marketplaces – in California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont – have already announced plans to establish a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to permit individuals subject to the tax penalty to enroll in 2015 coverage outside of this year’s OEP, thereby minimizing the penalty they could incur when filing their 2015 taxes.  This document, prepared by Manatt Health Solutions, provides a summary of the tax season SEPs being utilized by each of these Marketplaces.