This is a guest post from Griffith Swidler, Intern for Nebraska Appleseed’s Health Care Access Program
Like most people, I am well aware that it’s tax time and I need to get in gear to file my taxes before April 15th. One thing of which some people might not be so well aware is that filing your taxes now involves reporting back about your personal health insurance coverage.
Photo cutline: Griffith Swidler, Nebraska Appleseed Health Care Access Program intern
This is the first year that people may be filling out their taxes and noticing they are getting $95 less in their return because they did not enroll in health care under the Affordable Care Act. While this may be a surprise, luckily there is a Health Insurance Marketplace Special Enrollment Period through which many people can find quality, affordable health insurance to eliminate further fees.
There is also free help with enrolling in coverage. Meeting with a health care Navigator or other in-person assisters can help folks get the coverage they need and have their questions answered by qualified and unbiased health care counselors. These local assisters can be found at enroll-ne.org/local.
You are eligible for the special enrollment period on HealthCare.gov if you:
- Can attest that when you filed your 2014 tax return, you paid the penalty for not having health care coverage; and
- Can attest that you first became aware of, or understood the repercussions of failing to have health insurance after the end of the open enrollment period (Nov. 15, 2015).
Other Nebraskans will likely discover that since they did not enroll in health insurance they are getting a smaller tax return this year. If you or someone you know still doesn’t have health insurance, share the flyer linked below or direct them to enroll-ne.org/local to find free local assistance.
To start an application on your own, visit the Health Care Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.