Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: April 27, 2015
NEW CASTLE (April 27, 2015) - Delaware tax filers who owed a penalty on their 2014 taxes for being uninsured or underinsured in 2014 have until April 30 to sign up for coverage for the rest of 2015 and lessen their penalty next year. This special enrollment period, which started March 15, is open to individuals and families who did not have health coverage in 2014, who owed the penalty when they filed their 2014 taxes, and who first became aware of the penalty while preparing their taxes after open enrollment ended Feb. 15. They cannot already be enrolled in coverage through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace (HealthCare.gov) for 2015.
If eligible consumers do not purchase coverage by April 30, they may have to pay another penalty when they file their 2015 income taxes next year.
In Delaware and across the country, more than eight out of 10 people are able to find coverage for $100 or less a month with tax credits through the Marketplace.
"Thousands of Delawareans have been able to buy affordable coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace," Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "This special enrollment period offers consumers one final opportunity to sign up for coverage that will reduce their worries about becoming ill or injured and not having health insurance. The Marketplace plans also will connect Delawareans to quality care that will help to keep them healthy."
Individuals who take advantage of the special enrollment period will still owe a penalty for the months they were uninsured and did not receive an exemption in both 2014 and 2015.
For those who are required to file taxes, the penalty for not having coverage in 2014 was 1 percent of household income or $95 per person, whichever is greater. The penalty increases in 2015 to 2 percent of household income or $325 per person. The penalty is pro-rated based on how many months a person is uninsured. If qualified individuals enroll in coverage for the rest of 2015, they will pay the penalty only for the months they were uninsured.
If consumers qualify for the special enrollment period and enroll by April 30, their coverage will begin June 1.
Consumers can sign up - or find out if they qualify for an exemption from coverage - by contacting www.HealthCare.gov or the federal call center at 1-800-318-2596. Free help from local enrollment specialists is available at www.ChooseHealthDE.com.
After April 30, only individuals with a qualifying life event such as having a baby, getting married, or losing coverage through their employer will be eligible for a special enrollment period.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.