Healthcare Mandate "Affordable Care Act"
Effective January 1, 2014, individuals who are non-exempt are REQUIRED to maintain minimum essential health coverage for themselves, their spouse (if married filing jointly) and their eligible dependents or pay a tax penalty called a shared responsibility payment which will be calculated on the annual federal income tax return.
Open enrollment for health coverage that begins in year 2017 is available from November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. More information about open enrollment is discussed below.
Health Insurance Marketplace & State Exchanges
For health coverage starting in 2017, open enrollment is from November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. However, to have coverage effective January 1, 2017, you need to enroll in a health plan by December 15, 2016!
The Health Insurance Marketplace and State Exchanges are organizations for individuals and families to purchase health insurance. Each offer Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum insurance plans, covering 60%, 70%, 80%, and 90% respectively of medical costs. These are qualified health plans offering the same essential health benefits with varying co-pays and deductibles.
For lower and middle income Americans, subsidies may be available to help with the cost of health insurance premiums and possibly out-of-pocket expenses such as co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles. They are called the premium tax credit and cost-sharing subsidy. Be aware, these subsidies are ONLY available if you purchase your health insurance through the Marketplace or your State Exchange, if you otherwise qualify. If you are covered by an affordable employer-sponsored plan, a government program, or purchase your health insurance elsewhere on your own, you CANNOT qualify for any of these subsidies.
U.S. citizens and nationals who are Florida residents can use the "Health Insurance Marketplace" to shop and purchase health insurance. For more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace, visit: HealthCare.gov. You may also contact the Marketplace by phone by calling (800) 318-2596 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) TTY: (855) 889-4325.