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Some Facts about the Special Enrollment Period

Now that February 15 is past, the Open Enrollment Period for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act is over. For most people, if they did not buy during the Open Enrollment Period (or the Extra Enrollment Period), they will not be able to do so again until the next OEP at the end of 2015–and that will be for 2016 coverage.

HCgov_SEP_graphicBut if life throws you a curve ball, or you experience some other life change that affects your current health care status, you shouldn’t worry. That’s what the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) is all about. Read More…

Hit with a Penalty for 2014? Then the Extra Enrollment Period is for YOU!

EEP_signOn February 20, 2015, The Washington Post and countless other news outlets reported that Americans hit with the new federal tax penalty for not having health insurance coverage will have more time to purchase a health plan for this year.

The Obama administration announced that up to six million Americans are expected to face the Affordable Care Act penalty for not having health insurance in 2014. Those living in 37 states relying on the enrollment portal who would have to pay the 2014 and 2015 penalty will now be able to purchase coverage between March 15 and April 30, 2015. Read More…

Seven Tips to Navigate Health Reform

CMS Announces Special Enrollment Period for Tax Season

Eligible consumers have from March 15 through April 30 to enroll in coverage


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today a special enrollment period (SEP) for individuals and families who did not have health coverage in 2014 and are subject to the fee or “shared responsibility payment” when they file their 2014 taxes in states which use the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFM). This special enrollment period will allow those individuals and families who were unaware or didn’t understand the implications of this new requirement to enroll in 2015 health insurance coverage through the FFM.

For those who were unaware or didn’t understand the implications of the fee for not enrolling in coverage, CMS will provide consumers with an opportunity to purchase health insurance coverage from March 15 to April 30.  If consumers do not purchase coverage for 2015 during this special enrollment period, they may have to pay a fee when they file their 2015 income taxes.

Those eligible for this special enrollment period live in states with a Federally-facilitated Marketplace and:

  • Currently are not enrolled in coverage through the FFM for 2015,
  • Attest that when they filed their 2014 tax return they paid the fee for not having health coverage in 2014, and
  • Attest that they first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the Shared Responsibility Payment after the end of open enrollment (February 15, 2015) in connection with preparing their 2014 taxes.

The special enrollment period announced today will begin on March 15, 2015 and end at 11:59 pm E.S.T. on April 30, 2015.  If a consumer enrolls in coverage before the 15th of the month, coverage will be effective on the first day of the following month.

Here are seven vital tips to navigate health reform for 2015 and beyond. Be sure to download the PDF flier with this information to print and share.

ONE:  As of January 1, 2014—All new plans on or off the federal exchange marketplace are guaranteed issue with no exclusion of pre-existing conditions—which means the insurance company cannot deny you for coverage and they can’t exclude any of your medical conditions. Read More…

Will You Get a Health Insurance Subsidy? You Might Be Surprised.

subsidyOne of the ironic points about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on the horizon (also known as “Obamacare”) is that insurance rates are going to rise. In fact, they already have since the plans offered today are required to provide immediate benefits up front: most notably preventive care (physicals, screenings and immunizations) offered at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient.  It’s a benefit and it costs money. Read More…

Don’t Go it Alone: Five Reasons to Use a Health Insurance Broker from

10154211_10151953169196739_3618392723085904427_nImagine you had to completely replace the roof of your house. You have no idea where to begin, what kind of shingles you should use, or how to do the job. Plus, you learn there might be a government subsidy available to help you reduce your cost, but you are not sure if you qualify or even where to begin to find out.

You have two options: Read More…

The Clock is Ticking to Get Out from Under COBRA!

Cobra on grassIf you are currently enrolled in a COBRA plan, you may not be aware that for a limited time, you may qualify for a more affordable health plan on or off the exchange–with potential health-care subsidies as well. That’s because in early May, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a 60-day special enrollment period (SEP) for anyone who has COBRA group health benefits continuation coverage.

But the deadline for this period is July 1, 2014. So anyone on COBRA should act NOW. Read More…

Defined Contribution: Helping Employers Control Costs While Giving Their Employees More Options

43333Now that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is upon us, there are an array of both public and private insurance exchanges for individuals to shop for their own health insurance. And with the defined contribution model, employers can control the escalating costs of providing health insurance, while shifting responsibility (and control) of health insurance back to their employees at the same time. Read More…

The Enrollment Deadline is Past…But It’s Still Not Too Late!

march-31-deadlineIn Line” But Still Waiting? We Can Help!

In light of the March rush for people to enroll before the Enrollment Deadline, CMS anticipates that a significant number of people who may have tried to or begun the process may not have finished it. If this is your situation, do no despair now that the intial deadline has past. CMS knows this and wants to help make sure that you can complete the application process in order to get covered. Read More…

{Last Session} Affordable Care Act Educational Sessions at Mount Carmel

Next Session:

Last Event of 2014

Mount Carmel East Hospital (new location)
Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Bruce E. Siegel Center
5975 E. Broad Street, Columbus, Oh 43213



If you are confused – and maybe even a little intimidated – by what’s happening with the Affordable Care Act, I want to tell you about this great opportunity to get your questions answered.

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing information and answers about the changes in health insurance at the three Mount Carmel hospital locations. (The specific dates, times and locations are shown below.)

I am personally inviting you to come to one of these free presentations.anatomy of the exchange

Here are some of the topics I plan on covering:

• What is the cost? (And can I get money to help pay the cost?)
• What options are there for networks and providers?
• How can I find the plan that’s best for me?
• How do I enroll? Just how hard is it to sign up?

And of course, I will answer any other questions you may have.

These sessions are at a variety of dates, times, and locations. I hope you’ll find one that fits your schedule. This is a great educational opportunity with no cost or obligation.

Please join me!

Answers to Questions about Health Care Reform
Learn how the Affordable Care Act affects you

No advance registration is necessary. Simply arrive 10 minutes before the start time and go the the main reception desk for directions to the meeting space.

Last Event:

Mount Carmel East Hospital (new location)
Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Bruce E. Siegel Center
5975 E. Broad Street, Columbus, Oh 43213

For more information, call (614) 344-4093.

At, we are here to guide you and help you get informed and make the right decisions, and we will continue to do so in the advent of healthcare reform and as these different choices become available.

matt_81x106Matthew Byrne has made a career helping people find affordable health insurance in Ohio. He is the founder of, a Dublin-based brokerage providing Ohio health insurance quotes and services for individuals, families and corporations. Mr. Byrne is a subject matter expert speaking frequently about Health Care Reform, Defined Contribution Programs, COBRA, and Medicare. He can be reached at (614) 336-3636, and online at

Need a Health Reform Speaker? Find Matt on COPEC!

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