In case you haven’t heard, uninsured North Dakotans must sign up by March 31 to avoid a future tax penalty as a result of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate that requires most Americans to have health insurance in 2014.
This deadline applies to all Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota health insurance plans sold directly by the company to individuals and families and to all plans sold on North Dakota’s health insurance marketplace.
March 31, 2014 is the last day of the open enrollment period for 2014 coverage. The next open enrollment period begins on November 15, 2014, for coverage starting in 2015. Unless you get health insurance from an employer or a government program like Medicare or Medicaid, you will need to sign up by March 31 to have insurance coverage in 2014.
Some North Dakotans who experience life changes after March 31 this year, such as having a baby or getting married, may qualify for a special enrollment period. If your existing BCBSND plan is being discontinued, you may also qualify for a special enrollment period when your policy expires. If you aren’t sure if this applies to you, please call us at 1-800-280-BLUE (2583) and we’ll help you.
To check out your coverage options, you can get started at www.BCBSND.com/shop or by calling 1-800-280-BLUE (2583). If you meet income qualifications, you may qualify for a federal tax credit to help you pay the cost of your insurance if you select a plan on the marketplace. You can use our tax credit calculator to find out if you might qualify. Either way, explore your options and learn more at www.BCBSND.com/shop or by calling 1-800-280-BLUE (2583).
We have more info about health reform at ItStartsWithBlueND.com. You can also find some health reform law basics and get the latest health reform news on our website. Let us know if you have any questions.
Ryan Schuster is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.