Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
kynect Special Enrollment Period to Help Kentuckians Avoid Tax Penalties Ends
More than 3,000 additional Kentuckians signed up for private health insurance coverage
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear today announced that an additional 3,047 Kentuckians signed up for quality, affordable health coverage during a special enrollment period that ran from March 2 through April 30 to give Kentuckians unaware of possible tax penalties for the uninsured more time to sign up.
“Our second open enrollment period was extremely successful, with many new individuals signing up or continuing their health coverage through kynect,” said Gov. Beshear. “However, we knew there were Kentuckians who did not realize that if they do not obtain health coverage they may face significant penalties when they file their taxes. Given that the personal risks of not having health coverage are even greater than the penalties, we decided to continue a special enrollment period to allow those individuals more time to sign up. I’m pleased that the extra time allowed more than 3,000 Kentuckians to join the more than 100,000 who enrolled in private health coverage through kynect for 2015.”
At the Feb. 15 close of the 2015 open enrollment period, 158,685 individuals had enrolled in health care coverage through kynect for 2015. That number included 102,830 Kentuckians who have either newly enrolled in a qualified health plan since Nov. 15, 2014, or renewed the private insurance plan they purchased through kynect last year. With the additional enrollments, the final qualified health plan enrollment total for 2015’s open enrollment period is now 105,877 individuals. These enrollments are strictly for private health plans, not expanded Medicaid.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) penalty for not obtaining health coverage for the 2014 calendar year is $95 for each household member or one percent of income, whichever is greater. That penalty will increase in 2015 to $325 for each household member or two percent of income, whichever is greater.
Individuals who took advantage of the special enrollment period will still owe a fee for any months they were uninsured and did not qualify for an exemption in 2014 and 2015. This special enrollment period was designed to allow such individuals the opportunity to get covered for the remainder of the year and avoid additional fees for 2015.
kynect offers an array of options for Kentuckians – whether they qualify for Medicaid or enroll in one of the many qualified health plans offered on the exchange. The open enrollment period for 2016 coverage begins Nov. 1, 2015. Kentuckians can apply to determine if they are eligible for Medicaid coverage through kynect at any time and may enroll in a qualified health plans outside of the open enrollment period if they experience a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce, or loss of health employment and health benefits.
Visit https://kynect.ky.gov or call 1-855-4kynect (459-6328) to learn more about affordable health care options for Kentuckians.