Obamacare Tennessee: Important Dates to Look Out for in 2014

HealthTN Affordable Care Act/Obamacare

January 1: The Start of Pretty Much Everything

Coverage begins on New Year’s Day, so anyone who successfully signed up for insurance on their state’s Marketplace or the Federal Marketplace by the Dec. 24 deadline (and have paid their first premium) is now covered. And lots of low-income Americans who haven’t before qualified for Medicaid can use it now, too. If you’re enrolled, you will no longer be denied insurance for having “preexisting conditions”, and you won’t be charged more for being a woman.

January 1st also marks the countdown for the “individual mandate” – anyone who doesn’t have “minimum essential coverage” will be expected to pay a fine when they file their 2014 tax returns. The fine for this year, is only going to be $95 or 1% of an individuals taxable income, whichever number is greater. The deadline for avoiding the Obamacare penalty is March 31.

January 10: First Payments Due for the Policies that Took Effect January 1st

Marketplace customers who signed up by the Christmas Eve deadline will have until January 10th to pay their first month’s premium and make sure they’re covered for any January medical bills. In some cases, insurers may have extended the deadline because of the technical issues many have faced on Healthcare.gov’s website. Be sure to check with your individual insurer.

March 31: Open Enrollment Ends for Obamacare Tennessee

March 31st is the last chance for Americans to sign up through the Federal Marketplace, or the 14 state exchanges, and avoid the penalty (mentioned above). All preexisting health insurance plans that were canceled because of Obamacare will be exempt from the fine. If more technical problems occur with Healthcare.gov, there is a good chance this deadline could be extended.

November 15: Open Enrollment for 2015 Begins

The second-year start of Obamacare enrollment was originally meant to start a month earlier, on October 15. Come November, Americans will be able to switch to a different plan and/or signup for insurance for the year 2015.

2015: Employer Mandate and Individual Penalties Kick In

On January 1, 2015, employers with over 50 workers will have to pay a tax penalty of $2,000 per employee if they don’t offer healthcare plans, the idea being that businesses will keep their existing health plans.

By April 15, 2015, anyone who wasn’t insured in 2014 will have to pay a $95 fine. If those same people go uninsured in 2015, the penalty rises to $325 – by 2016, a person will have to pay $695 in fines for not being covered.

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