After weeks of frustrating glitches surrounding the online marketplace many Americans will use to purchase health care under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration has granted a six-week extension to citizens to get insured before they face tax penalties.
Under the original law, uninsured Americans had until February 15 of next year to get insured. That date has been pushed back until March 31. People who sign-up between October 1, the first day the insurance marketplaces opened, and March 31 will not face a penalty. The penalty currently for not purchasing insurance is $95 or 1% of income, whichever is higher. That penalty will increase to $325 or 2% of income in 2015, and $695 or 2.5% of income in 2016.
Previously, there was also some confusion about two of the key dates in the law. Open enrollment ended March 1, but those who enrolled after February 15 still faced a penalty. That will no longer be the case. The March 31 date is the only deadline people now face.
This extension will only apply for 2014. The deadline for 2015 will be December 7, 2014. December 7 will be the deadline day for future years as well.
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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