Individual Market - 2019 Open Enrollment 11/1/18 to 12/15/18

Individual Market - 2019 Open Enrollment 11/1/18 to 12/15/18

There is an annual open enrollment period for individuals to enroll in health insurance coverage or renew an existing individual health insurance policy. Outside of the annual open enrollment individual insurance coverage is not available unless you have a Qualifying Event and provide proof of an involuntary loss of health insurance coverage and enroll on a new plan within 30-60 days of that loss. For questions regarding individual policies and short-term medical policies, contact our office at 979.694.6900 or email Colbee Martin at colbee@bcins.net.

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) instituted an individual insurance coverage mandate, which became effective in 2014. This requires most individuals to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage for themselves and family members or pay a penalty. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (passed by Congress on 12/20/2017) reduces the penalty to zero beginning in 2019.

2014 Penalty: $95 per person/1 percent of income

2015 Penalty: $325 per person/2 percent of income

2016-2018 Penalty: $695 per person/2.5 percent of income

Although the tax reform bill eliminates the ACA’s individual mandate penalty, this repeal does not take effect until 2019. As a result, individuals continue to be required to comply with the mandate (or pay a penalty) for 2017 and 2018. A failure to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage for these years may still result in a penalty for the individual.

In addition, keep in mind that individuals who are liable for a penalty for failing to obtain acceptable health coverage in 2018 will be required to pay that penalty when they file their federal income taxes in 2019. As a result, some individuals may be required to pay the individual mandate penalty in early 2019, based on their noncompliance for the 2018 tax year. Consult with your tax advisor to determine if the penalties apply to you or if you can claim an exemption.