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State considers new ACA enrollment period, as consumers get first taste of penalties

Credit www.reliancecpa.com


The deadline to enroll for coverage through the state’s health insurance plan was Sunday. New Yorkers who started applications before the cutoff still have until the end of the month to finish them.

But state health officials are also considering adding a special enrollment period for people who have not yet filed their 2014 tax return. Consumer advocacy groups are asking for just that as many Americans file returns and see that they may owe money on their federal taxes.

"We have in fact had some people tell us (fortunately were able to finish up before the deadline, but) that when they filed their 2014 federal income tax they realized that they would have a penalty in 2015," said Donna Frescatore, Executive Director of the New York State of Health marketplace. 

Penalties for not having health coverage increase each year, under the Affordable Care Act. Tax payers must also report subsidized health plans. That could result in a tax or a credit depending on how accurately you estimated your income, and will mostly affect people with low or middle incomes.

Michelle Faust, MA, is a reporter/ producer whose work focuses strongly on issues related to health and health policy. She joined the WXXI newsroom in February 2014, and in short time became the lead producer on the Understanding the Affordable Care Act series. Michelle is a reporter with the health collaborative Side Effects and regularly contributes to The Innovation Trail. Working across media, she also produces packages for WXXI-TV’s weekly news magazine Need to Know.
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