5. Important Dates to Know
There are five important dates to know for the Health Insurance Marketplace:
- November 1, 2015 – Marketplace open enrollment for 2016 begins.
- December 15, 2015 – Last day to enroll or change plans for new coverage to start Jan. 1.
- January 1, 2016 – 2016 coverage starts for those who enroll or change plans by Dec. 15.
- January 15, 2016 – Last day to enroll or change plans for new coverage to start Feb. 1.
- January 31, 2016 – Open enrollment ends. Any enrollments or changes made between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31 will take effect March 1.
After open enrollment ends on January 31, 2016, you won’t be able to get Marketplace coverage until the next annual enrollment period unless have a qualifying event, such as a divorce, marriage or baby.
If you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), you can apply now and your coverage can begin immediately. You can find out if you qualify for either program on the Marketplace website at www.healthcare.gov (use the website search box to search for “Medicaid” and “CHIP”).
The Bottom Line
Most people will be eligible to purchase health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. In order to qualify, you must:
- Live in the United States
- Be a U.S. citizen or national
- Not be currently incarcerated
If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad, you are not required to have coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and you won’t have to pay the fee for being without insurance.
To find additional information regarding the new Health Insurance Marketplace, as well as state-specific information and how to apply in your state:
Personal FinanceTime to renew your health plan – or shop for a new one for 2016. Here's how to get the most from marketplace open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act.
Personal FinanceIf you don't have health insurance, act NOW or you could owe penalties on your 2016 taxes, in addition to this year's.
Personal FinanceUnderstand the need for health insurance and why some undervalue the need for coverage. Learn about the top seven mistakes to avoid when purchasing insurance.
Personal FinanceFollow these 4 steps to get the best coverage at the most affordable price.
RetirementThe rules and timing can be tricky; here's how to navigate them, without getting dinged by penalties.
Personal FinanceYes, if you've no other coverage options. Here’s what you need to know about how it works and how it differs from employer-provided and marketplace plans.
Personal FinanceHere's how you may be able to lower your costs for health insurance coverage in 2016 though the Health Insurance Markerplace.
Personal FinanceSign up by February 15 - or else pay 2015's higher tax penalty. If you miss the deadline, there are exceptions.
Personal FinanceIf you can afford health insurance and you don’t have coverage in 2016, you may have to pay a fee of 2.5% of your yearly household income or $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18). ...
Personal FinanceThere are ways to keep employer-provided insurance and delay Medicare, but you must follow the government's rules to avoid penalties and coverage gaps.