By Virgil Dickson, Crain News Service
WASHINGTON (Feb. 25, 2015) — A special enrollment period will begin March 15 and end April 30 to help consumers avoid tax penalties for not obtaining health insurance coverage this year, Andrew Slavitt, principal deputy administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), said during a news briefing Feb. 20.
To qualify for the exemption, people will need to self-attest that they had to pay a penalty for not having coverage in 2014, they cannot be currently enrolled in a plan on Healthcare.gov, https://www.healthcare.gov/ and claim that they only found out they were going to have to pay a tax penalty when they filed their income tax forms.
CMS had no estimates on how many people fall into this group.
Up to 6 million Americans are expected to pay a penalty for not having coverage in 2014, according to recent Obama administration projections. Most of the uninsured won't actually face the penalty because they'll qualify for an exemption, either related to their inability to afford coverage or some other hardship.