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Don't Have Health Insurance Yet? March 31 is the Deadline


The Open Enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act ends on March 31, 2014. If you are required to have health insurance and don't get it by March 31, then you won't be able to get private individual insurance from your state's Health Insurance Marketplace or directly from an insurance company until open enrollment begins for 2015. If you start the application process on but can't complete it by Monday March 31st, you will be allowed to complete it. The penalty in 2014 for not having insurance is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, up to a maximum of $285 or 1 percent of income, whichever is higher.

If you have a “qualifying life event” there is a 60-day “special enrollment period” to purchase new coverage at any time of the year. Examples of qualifying life events include losing job-based health insurance, expiration of existing insurance such as COBRA or pre-2014 insurance plan, marriage, divorce, or moving away from the geographic service area of your current plan.

HealthLawHelper from Consumer Reports can help you determine the steps you need to take.

6 Tips to help you get through your application from Consumer Reports

What happens if I don't get insurance by March 31?

For continuing information about implementation of the Affordable Care Act, we suggest that you follow two blogs:

If and as breaking news related to health insurance occurs, we will post links to balanced coverage here.

12/31/13 Here's a reminder. If you didn't sign up by December 24, you can still sign up for health insurance. You have until March 31st to enroll to avoid paying a penalty (unless exempt). If you enroll by January 15th, your coverage will begin February 1st. If you enroll between January 16th and February 15th, your coverage will begin March 1st. If you sign up after February 15, your coverage won't begin until April 1 at the earliest.

12/23/13 Enrollment in a healthcare plan to take effect January 1, 2014, has been extended by 24 hours through December 24. You now have until 11.59 PM, December 24, 2013, to complete your enrollment on, the White House announced today. Dates for payment of your first premium remain the same as announced earlier.

12/19/2013 If you select a healthcare plan by December 23 to begin January 1, 2014, you may have until January 10 to pay your first month’s premium. On December 18, America’s Trade Insurance Plans (AHIP)—the industry trade group that represents about 95% of the nation’s health insurance companies—announced this extension by member companies. The deadline would move to January 10, 2014 from the previous December 31, 2013, deadline. If you have not paid your first month’s premium and would like to take advantage of this extension, be sure to check directly with the company you’ve signed up with. A few companies may not follow their trade group’s lead.