U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Applauds Action on Special ACA Enrollment Period

In response to Baldwin request last week, HHS establishes a special enrollment period open to uninsured who paid 2014 tax penalty, but missed open enrollment period that ended February 15

By - Feb 20th, 2015 09:42 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced that individuals who were uninsured in 2014, and subject to the individual responsibility payment in states with a federal Marketplace, would be granted another chance to enroll in 2015 coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  This will increase access to affordable insurance by allowing these uninsured individuals the chance to enroll in coverage without paying a subsequent penalty during the 2015 tax season. Last week, Baldwin led a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell calling for such a measure.

“Over 11 million Americans have benefitted from the security of the private health coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act. I applaud today’s announcement by Secretary Burwell to build on this success by providing the opportunity for more uninsured Americans to access the health care security they want and need,” said Baldwin.

Many people wait until the end of tax season in April to file their taxes and subsequently may not know until that time if they are subject to the individual responsibility penalty. In fact, more than half of uninsured Americans are unaware of the financial help that is available to make Marketplace coverage more affordable (56 percent), less than half of the uninsured are aware of the individual responsibility provision (46 percent) and even less knew when the open enrollment period for 2015 coverage would close (17 percent). This special enrollment period that runs from March 15 through April 30, 2015 will allow many uninsured individuals an opportunity to learn about the financial help available under the law and another chance to enroll in the ACA’s affordable health coverage.

This year the penalty is $95 per person or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater. Estimates indicate that approximately two to four percent of taxpayers will pay the fee in 2014 for choosing not to purchase health insurance they could have afforded.

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