Summertime always brings a number of exciting activities such as weddings, birthdays, and births. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), any one of these events could be considered a qualifying life event and may trigger a special enrollment period.
What are qualifying events?
A qualifying event allows you to make changes to your healthcare coverage. Such events are birth or adoption of a child (dependent), marriage, turning 26 and aging out of your parent’s healthcare plan, becoming a United States citizen, divorce, or death.
What is COBRA?
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), allows you to continue to purchase health insurance for up to 18 months due to a loss of employment or termination of employer-sponsored coverage. If you are without coverage or under COBRA, open enrollment is the only time for you to add healthcare coverage for the 2018 year.
Are there penalties for not having healthcare coverage?
As a result of the Affordable Care Act, you have to pay a fee if you did not have healthcare coverage in 2017, but could afford it. The fee is called the individual shared responsibility penaltyand is calculated in two different ways. This fee is either 2.5% of household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child. You pay the higher amount of these two options, which is the amount you will pay for the months you are not covered.