Health Care Reform: 4 Dates You Need to Know

We already looked at how health care is connected to your taxes. Now, let’s look at the important health care reform dates you need to know

October 1, 2013 – Insurance Marketplaces opened. You can buy insurance on the Marketplace if you don't have affordable health care coverage through your job. You and your family members may also qualify for your state’s Medicaid program or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

January 1, 2014 – You must have health insurance. This is the day that all Americans are required to have health insurance. It is also the first day tax credits are available to help people buy health insurance through the Marketplace. If you don’t have coverage by January 1, you’ll face a tax penalty. There is, however, a grace period for the tax penalty. To avoid the penalty, you need to be signed up and pay your premium by about Valentine’s Day (2014).

March 31, 2014 – Last day you can buy insurance for 2014 through the Marketplace. After March 31st you will not be able to buy health insurance for 2014 through the Marketplace unless you have a major life event. Examples include, getting married, having a baby or have another qualifying life event. There is no limit to when you can sign up for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

April 15, 2013 – Tax season ends. Be sure to visit a Jackson Hewitt tax professional as soon as possible to find out how much you may expect to receive as a tax refund – and to avoid penalties.

For more information, visit our Affordable Care Act Resource Center.