Today, building on steps already taken by some state-based marketplaces, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new Special Enrollment Period (SEP) from March 15 to April 30 in states using HealthCare.gov. The SEP is for consumers who find out while filing their taxes that they will owe a fine for not having health insurance in 2014.
Here at Enroll America, we are thrilled about this news. Taxes and health coverage are now more connected than ever, and many consumers still don’t know about the financial help they can qualify for, or the fine they may have to pay if they don’t get covered. This action by CMS specifically helps those not currently in marketplace coverage and who are subject to the fine when filing their 2014 federal income tax return get covered so they can avoid paying a fine for 2015.
Enroll America recognized early on that the tax filing moment can serve as a powerful opportunity to motivate consumers to take action through highlighting the real impact of the fine and available financial help to get covered. That’s why we partnered with 72 tax-focused sites on the ground to take advantage of the brief overlap between OE2 and tax filing season, teamed up with Intuit TurboTax on a consumer education campaign, and recommended that federal policymakers allow those facing a fine when filing their taxes after OE2 have one more chance to enroll.
It’s crucial that the enrollment community step up to the plate again between March 15 and April 30 to seize this additional opportunity to connect the remaining uninsured to coverage. Here are ways you can help:
- Check out our resources to better understand the connection between tax filing and coverage in order to successfully navigate the tax filing moment.
- Connect consumers to in-person help: Our Get Covered Connector will continue to be available to help consumers find and schedule available appointments over the coming months.
- Partner with tax preparation organizations: Work with tax preparation organizations in your community to help identify consumers who can benefit from this SEP.
We look forward to continuing to work with you to get the most out of this opportunity to get more Americans covered!
Updated March 6, 2015