Your last chance to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace is here. Individuals planning to enroll, re-enroll or change insurance plans for 2016 need to act now or pay a penalty.
The final deadline for open enrollment is Jan. 31. Enrollment or changes made between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31 take effect March 1, 2016.
Even individuals who plan to keep their current health plan need to update income and household information. Premium tax credits and other savings are based on expected income for 2016, not the prior year.
Remember, individuals who do not enroll by Jan. 31 cannot enroll in a health insurance plan for 2016 unless they qualify for a special enrollment period that may follow certain life events such as marriage, birth of a child or loss of other health coverage.
You may have to wait another year to sign up for coverage and pay a penalty of $695 or more when you pay your federal income taxes next year.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is for people who don’t have insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or another source for qualifying coverage.