(AP) — What to consider as the first open enrollment period in California under the federal Affordable Care Act comes to an end:
1. TODAY’S DEADLINE
People who start the application process by 11:59 p.m. PDT Monday have until 11:59 p.m. on April 15 to complete the process and select a health insurance plan.
2. STARTING THE PROCESS
Consumers must complete several steps to be counted as starting the application process, beginning with filling out all required information on the “Apply for Benefits” page and clicking “Continue.” Go to www.coveredca.com or call one of the customer service centers. Paper applications must be postmarked by Monday.
3. ENROLLMENT TO DATE
As of 2 a.m. Monday, 1.2 million Californians had signed up for individual policies through Covered California. Another 1.1 million who started applications were determined to be likely eligible for Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid.
4. MISSED DEADLINE
People who miss Monday’s enrollment deadline for health insurance coverage will pay a tax penalty of $95 or 1 percent of their annual income above the tax-filing threshold of $10,150, whichever is higher. The penalty rises in the future. The next enrollment period starts Nov. 15 for coverage starting in 2015.
5. GETTING INSURANCE AFTER THE DEADLINE
Medi-Cal enrollment for those who qualify is open throughout the year. Others who miss the deadline for individual coverage can get insurance later in the year if they get married, move, have a baby or adopt a child, lose their current coverage or have a change in income that would affect their eligibility for financial assistance.
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