Beginning in 2014, most non-exempt Americans will have to maintain a “minimum of essential coverage” throughout each year or get an exemption. If you have not enrolled in healthcare coverage and you don’t have an exemption you will have to pay a monthly fee based on your year-end income taxes for every month you do not have insurance. You need the minimum essential coverage to avoid paying this fee and can only be obtained through the insurance’s open enrollment period.

Various exemptions to the mandate to obtain insurance can be used such as “short coverage gap” which allows someone to go for less than three months in a row without medical coverage without having to pay the fee. Small business also must use the open enrollment dates to apply for their employees.

You must enroll for health insurance during the open enrollment period to be covered for the following year.  For example, open enrollment for 2014 ended on March 31st, 2014 so you had to wait until enrollment period begins on November 15 2015 or apply to qualify for a “special enrollment period” to get covered by the marketplace in between.

To avoid owing a monthly “shared Responsibility Payment” for not having coverage for at least a day in any given month, you have to enroll during open enrollment. There are exemptions under certain situations which you may qualify for, search exemptions under HealthCare.gov.

A CDC study of uninsured people under ObamaCare, including children and seniors, is less than 10%. Seven million fewer persons lacked having health insurance during the first 3 months of 2015 when it was compared to 2014.  Approximately 920,00 Americans enrolled in the 2015 special enrollment period and 9.9 million are still enrolled and paid as of September 2015.

Don’t wait and learn about how ObamaCare can help you until the last minute. Find out everything you need to know about Open Enrollment 2016 in the Health Insurance Marketplace.