Community agencies in many counties are working to assist people inn signing up for health insurance through the Affordable Health Insurance Act. Beginning November 1, 2015 individuals and families can begin to enroll for coverage that can start as early as January 1, 2016.  For private individuals and families, open enrollment is the only time of year that you are able to obtain the minimum essential health coverage, change plans, adjust cost assistance or enroll in a plan. If you don’t get coverage during this time, or an exemption, you could wind up owing a monthly fee.

Minimum essential coverage is the insurance you must enroll in to avoid paying a fee for not having insurance. To be compliant you must maintain this minimum coverage throughout the year or get an exemption.  If you do not have this minimum coverage you must pay a fee for each month you go without it. You are allowed a less than three months in a row period that you can go without insurance due to a “coverage gap exemption”. In other words you can be exempt for two full months, but will have to have health coverage for at least one day of that third month.

You will have to report minimum essential coverage on your federal Income Taxes for every month that you or a dependent had coverage. The majority of the coverage you will get both inside and outside the Marketplace during open enrollment period is minimum essential coverage.

The Affordable Care Act has created many new rules and regulations for health insurance. It has also added some pretty “ground breaking” new benefits, rights, and protections. When you enroll in a plan it is important to make sure the health insurance is following all of ObamaCare’s rules. Some do and some do not. The majority of the rules that were set forth by the ACA for the major health plans count as minimum coverage.