Deadline for buying health insurance is Monday, March 31

Friday, March 28, 2014

By Keith Seinfeld

The deadline is for real, and the deadline has not been extended.

It applies to anyone who needs to buy health insurance this year (for 2014), with a few important exceptions (see below).  Here are six useful tips:

  1. Washington Healthplanfinder will allow extensions for people who can show they are having technical troubles. But the deadline applies to most uninsured people.
  2. Residents are urged to enroll online. To meet the deadline, customers must complete the entire application process and submit payment by 11:59 pm on March 31. Coverage will begin on May 1.
  3. But if anyone is having trouble with their application or needs help, a number of “in-person” events are scheduled to provide assistance.
  4. Exceptions to the deadline: If you are low income and qualify for Apple Health (Medicaid), then enrollment is open all year. If you have a “qualifying event” such as getting married, having a child, or losing your job, then you can enroll at that time.
  5. Read more about the deadline and about the potential tax penalty for people who remain uninsured after March 31.
  6. Subsidies on insurance and other expenses are available only if the plan is purchased through Washington Healthplanfinder. But insurance may be purchased directly from insurers or through brokers.
Studies have shown most uninsured people will qualify for a discount. Many have been surprised at how little the insurance costs.

The next open enrollment period starts in November.
In order to complete an enrollment, please be ready with:
  • Birth dates, social security numbers, and estimated annual income before taxes and deductions for all members of the household
  • Lawfully present immigrants will need to supply a passport, alien, or other immigration number

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