The formal deadline to purchase a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act while taking advantage of the prohibition against discrimination regarding pre-existing conditions was March 31. This was also the deadline for individuals to obtain coverage without incurring a penalty of either $95 or 1 percent of their income, whichever is greater.
If you missed the deadline, however, you still have options. Here they are, in a nutshell:
Frequently Asked Questions
What was the official deadline to purchase a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act without facing discrimination for pre-existing conditions?
The official deadline was March 31.
If someone misses the main deadline, what is one option they have to obtain short-term coverage?
They can purchase a Short-Term individual or family policy from an agent or broker in the open market. However, these plans do not qualify as ACA plans, so there might be an annual tax penalty until obtaining a qualified plan.
Under what circumstances can someone apply for health coverage under a special enrollment period?
They can apply if they experience a qualifying life event like moving to a new state, loss of other coverage, or changes in family size (birth, marriage, divorce, adoption, etc.). After such events, there’s a limited time to apply, sometimes 30 days and sometimes 60 days.
Can individuals apply for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) anytime?
Yes, if they qualify, they can apply for Medicaid or CHIP at any time, and the coverage can begin immediately. However, eligibility depends on state, family size, and income level.