Time For Procrastinators To Get Health Insurance

You can’t put it off much longer. Time is running out for procrastinators to get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, for 2016. You have until January 31st and that’s the last call for this year.

If you don’t sign up for health insurance you face a penalty of either 2.5 percent of your income or $695, whichever is higher.

Anyone who doesn’t have health insurance through an employer can enroll and should. You want to protect yourself if you get sick or if you get injured in an accident. And you never know.

If you have Medicare, you don’t need to worry about this. Medicare covers your needs. 

While the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) oversees the sign-up and sets some of the rules, private insurers offer the plans.

Plans vary slightly from state to state and doctors and hospitals in different states treat plans differently, accepting some and rejecting others. That’s why, when you consider a plan, it’s a good idea to find out if your doctor or medical provider accepts the insurance.


  • Outpatient medical care
  • Emergency treatment
  • Hospitalization including surgery and overnight stays
  • Pregnancy, maternity and newborn care
  • Pediatric care
  • Mental health and substance abuse services
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services 
  • Birth control
  • Breast feeding services

Some plans may include dental and vision.


Eight in ten people who apply in 2016 will qualify for financial assistance that will help you lower the monthly premiums. People with moderate and higher incomes, especially in small rural states, complain that the premiums and out-of-pocket expenses run high.  

Poorer people pay less in most cases, and some pay no premiums at all. Many states increasingly realize the value of providing health care and have expanded or plan to expand Medicaid to cover a wider group of people. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide health insurance for millions across the country and the Department of Health and Human Services expects millions more to sign on.

You can apply online at Healthcare.gov, by phone at 1-800-318-2596 or with local in-person help. You can find that help here


Published by

Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created ConsumerMojo.com to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.