Are you kicking yourself for missing the December 23, 2013 deadline to sign up for your affordable health care plan? Well, do not be too hard on yourself. There is still plenty of time for you to get your health insurance. The December 23 deadline was for those who wanted their health coverage to begin January 1, 2014. Open enrollment for the new affordable health care plans is still available through March 31, 2014.
Your insurance coverage will begin the first of the following month, as long as you sign up before the 15th of the current month. For example, if you sign up on January 12 your coverage will begin February 1. If you sign up after the 15th of the month, your coverage will begin the 1st of the month after the following one. For example, if you sign up on January 20, your coverage will begin on March 1.
If you miss the March 31 deadline you can still enroll for health insurance, however you will have to pay an individual shared responsibility payment. This payment may be waived if you have a qualifying life event, such as job loss, birth or divorce.
Though open enrollment for affordable health care plans ends in March you can still apply for Medicaid and CHIP at any time. Also, small employers can start their SHOP coverage at any time during the year.