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Feds Grant Obamacare Tax Extension

The administration is offering a special enrollment period for people who didn’t realize they would have to pay if they don’t have health insurance.
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There’s another Obamacare break — the administration is offering a special enrollment period for Americans who didn’t realize they would have to pay a tax if they don’t have health insurance.

“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 federally facilitated marketplace,” the Health and Human Services Department said in a statement. People will be able to sign up for private health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges between March 15 and 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,” HHS said.

Also Friday, government officials acknowledged they goofed when they sent tax forms to about 800,000 Americans who got federal subsidies last year through Obamacare. Those people will receive corrected forms to use in filing their 2014 taxes.

For the first time ever, Americans will have to check a box on their federal income taxes, saying they had health insurance in 2014. People who didn’t have health insurance will have to pay a fee — $95 per adult or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater. Next year, that goes up to $325 per adult or 2 percent of income.

Consumer advocates welcomed the special enrollment period, which could affect as many as 6 million people. “Even though the second enrollment period was a big success, there remain millions of people who are unaware of the premium subsidies that make insurance affordable and who didn’t know about the tax penalty for failing to buy insurance,” Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, said in a statement.


-- Maggie Fox