State Exchanges: Early 2016 Renewals in Kentucky (?), Tax Deadline Reminder in Maryland (!)
A couple of days ago I noted that Covered California is adding a very good feature this year: They're opening up 2016 enrollment nearly 3 weeks early...for those who are already currently enrolled. Starting this monday, Oct. 12, current enrollees will be able to renew or switch to a different CoveredCA plan, 19 days ahead of he official Nov. 1st Open Enrollment launch.
Today I discovered that at least one other state-based exchange (Kynect, in Kentucky) is doing this as well...sort of:
I clicked through and saw this listed under the Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How do I enroll in kynect?
Simply visit kynect.ky.gov or talk to your insurance agent. If your insurance plan is up for renewal, you may be eligible to enroll through kynect today. You can also call Customer Service at 1-855-4kynect (459-6328).
However, this is a bit confusing because the very next answer says:
2. When can I enroll in kynect?
You can enroll in kynect 60 days before your current health coverage ends or up to 60 days after your coverage has ended during a special enrollment period. You can also enroll in kynect during open enrollment which is November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016.
...which for most people would presumably mean November 1st (60 days before December 31st), so I'm not quite sure whether current kynect enrollees can renew/switch before 11/1/15 after all.
Meanwhile, in Maryland, they're pushing people who requested a federal tax filing extention last spring hard to remember to file their 2014 tax return by October 15th...or risk losing federal tax credits (both APTC and CSR) next year:
Marylanders who enrolled in health coverage through Maryland Health Connection for 2014 and received a tax credit must file their 2014 tax return to remain eligible for financial assistance for 2016.
They should file by October 15 to prevent delays in getting these savings next year.
Anyone who received financial assistance for their health plan in 2014 (in the form of a tax credit or cost-sharing reduction), must file their 2014 tax return and include Form 8962 to remain eligible for financial assistance in 2016. This is a requirement under the Affordable Care Act.
If they fail to complete the tax-filing process, they will be responsible for the full cost of their health insurance premiums and all covered services. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service may contact them to pay back some or all of the tax credits received in 2014.
Marylanders who received an extension to file until Oct. 15 should file their 2014 federal tax return with Form 8962 electronically as soon as possible. The cutoff date is Dec. 31, but waiting until this date may mean a delay in having tax information updated and will require tax filing by paper.
Tax credits help make health insurance more affordable. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange wants to ensure that everyone who qualifies for a tax credit can get one. The average Maryland household enrolled in a plan through the state health insurance marketplace will receive on average $3,000 a year in tax credits to make health coverage more affordable.
It's important to understand that this rule applies for every state, not just Maryland. They just seem to be the ones calling the most attention to it at the moment.