If you started applying for health insurance before Open Enrollment ended on March 31, but for whatever reason never got around to finishing the job, you only have until midnight tonight to get it done.
Here’s how: Go to HealthCare.gov and click on the lower right-hand button, labeled “In line by the deadline? Finish now.”
N.B.: This is not an option for you if you never got around to applying in the first place. But alll may not be lost! You’ll also notice a bigger top button entitled, “See if you can still get coverage.” Click through on that and you’ll see a list of circumstances that entitle you to a “Special Enrollment Period” that can occur at any time of the year. You may qualify for a SEP if:
- You lose your existing health insurance because you quit or are laid off from a job; your plan is canceled or expires; your COBRA runs out; or you turn 26 and get kicked off your parents’ coverage.
- Your family circumstances change through marriage, divorce, death, or having a baby.
If you decide to skip getting health insurance now, the earliest you can sign up again is the next Open Enrollment period, which runs from Nov. 15, 2014, through Feb. 15, 2015. The earliest your coverage can start is Jan. 1, 2015. AND you will be assessed a penalty on your 2014 tax return for going uninsured in 2014.
Got a question for our health insurance expert? Ask it here; be sure to include the state you live in. And if you can't get enough health insurance news here, follow me on Twitter @NancyMetcalf.
We're providing regular coverage of the new health care law. To get health insurance advice tailored to your situation, use our Health Law Helper, below.
Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S.