Open enrollment deadlines nearing for Health Insurance Marketplace

The final deadlines for Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment are quickly approaching. Individuals planning to enroll, re-enroll or change insurance plans for 2016 need to act now or pay a penalty.

Here are the two deadlines to remember:

Jan. 15: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start Feb. 1, 2016

Jan. 31: Open enrollment ends. Enrollment or changes between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31 take effect March 1, 2016

Even individuals who plan to keep their current health plan need to update income and household information. Premium tax credits and other savings are based on expected income for 2016, not the prior year.

Remember, individuals who do not enroll by Jan. 31 cannot enroll in a health insurance plan for 2016 unless they qualify for a special enrollment period that may follow certain life events such as marriage, birth of a child or loss of other health coverage.

The Health Insurance Marketplace is for people who don’t have insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or another source for qualifying coverage.