The December 15th deadline to enroll in an insurance plan that meets federal minimum requirements for 2016 is rapidly approaching. Now that insurance is being mandated on a federal level to be required by everyone, you can bet they will be sniffing out those not meeting the minimum insurance requirements for non-compliance penalties! Even if you feel in good health and think insurance is just not “for you”, you may want to weigh out that risk with the fine that will be imposed for those that are not enrolled for a 2016 health care plan.
December 15th is the last date to enroll in a qualified health plan through your chosen provider, in order for coverage to be effective on January 1, 2016. If you slip up and enroll past that date, you may still be eligible to enroll in a plan, but it will not be effective until February 2016 or later instead. This could not only result in not being insured for a period of time, but will also mean that you may be fined for the time you do not have an eligible plan.
I know there are those out there that figure they are strong as an ox and therefore, do not need the added cost of health insurance coverage. I am one that does not get sick or hurt too often myself (knock on wood), but having young children, I know the importance of having “major medical” coverage. Not only that, I am not about to have to pay a fine to the government for being stubborn against an inevitable mandate. The cost for not having insurance in 2016 is up from the greatest of either $325 or 2% of someone’s taxable income, to the greatest of either $695 or 2.5% of someone’s taxable income. As most things go, this penalty is set to increase with inflation, so don’t expect it to go away anytime soon! (NBC News New York).
Although the penalty seen here is for someone continuously not having coverage for the entire year, it still represents a great deal of responsibility in weighing out one’s options. I know for a fact, having gone through a surgery myself and two childbirths in recent years, that insurance for major things when they do happen is very important! Even though I had a portion of responsibility to pay out-of-pocket through my PPO plan, it was far less than what I would have had to pay if I was a cash patient. Now that the enrollment period has been open for going on a month and a half (since November 1st), there is no excuse that you didn’t enroll in time. If the language is a little too much to navigate on your own, “Obama Care” centers have sprung up everywhere to help simplify the enrollment process for those that need assistance. If you plan on enrolling, don’t miss the boat!