(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be giving some Americans a second chance to avoid the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) individual mandate tax penalty.
Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said they will add an extra major medical special enrollment period (SEP) that will last from March 15 through Apri 30.
The PPACA is set to impose a penalty of 1 percent of income on many Americans who failed to have what the government defines as adequate coverage throughout 2014. The penalty rate for consumers who lack coverage in 2015 is set to rise to 2 percent. Personal income tax filings for 2014 are due April 15, and many taxpayers are just learning about the penalties they owe for 2014.
Regular sign-ups for 2015 coverage ended Sunday.
The new SEP will be available to consumers in states with public exchanges operated by HHS who attest that they have paid a PPACA mandate penalty for 2014 and first learned of the penalty system when they filed their 2014 taxes.
Andy Slavitt, principal deputy administrator at CMS, announced the move on a conference call Friday.