Kynect opens special enrollment period March 2-April 30 to give people without health insurance a chance to avoid tax penalty

The state health-insurance exchange, Kynect, is reopening enrollment in March and April to allow signups by Kentuckians who discovered that not having health insurance means they have to pay a federal tax penalty.

“We believe
that many Kentuckians did not realize those who do not obtain health coverage
could face significant penalties when they file their taxes,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a news release. And given that the
personal risks of not having health coverage are even greater than the
penalties, we have decided to continue a special enrollment period to allow
those individuals more time to sign up.”

The penalty for not having health coverage last year is 1 percent of income, or $95 for each adult in the household and $47.50 for each child, whichever is greater. For 2015, the penalty will be 2 percent or $325
for each adult and $167.50 for each child.

“Individuals taking advantage of this 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,” the news release warns. “This special enrollment period is
designed to allow such individuals the opportunity to get covered for
the remainder of the year and avoid additional fees for 2015.”

If your household income is between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which makes you eligible for expanded Medicaid, you will still be charged a penalty if you don’t sign up. Medicaid enrollment is open year-round, but the special enrollment for private insurance will end April 30.

Visit https://kynect.ky.gov or call 1-855-4kynect (459-6328) to learn more.

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