H&R Block Reminds Consumers of Approaching Health Insurance Enrollment Deadline
Licensed Health Care Advisors to help clients activate coverage for Jan. 1 by enrolling by Dec. 15
H&R Block (NYSE: HRB), the world’s largest consumer tax services provider, reminds taxpayers that Monday, December 15, 2014 is the last day to enroll in health insurance coverage that will be effective on January 1, 2015. Most taxpayers will need to have health insurance coverage for 2015 to avoid a potential tax penalty when they file their taxes in 2016.
For the second year, H&R Block is offering nationwide health insurance enrollment services through its partnership with GoHealth. H&R Block’s enrollment services, free of charge, help consumers understand their options, apply for the Advance Premium Tax Credit and select and enroll in health insurance coverage. Consumers can call a Licensed Health Care Advisor at 1-800 HRBLOCK or visit the website to evaluate plans and enroll.
“There are only a few days remaining for consumers to sign up for health insurance to begin the first of the year and avoid facing penalties for being uninsured in 2015,” said Mark Ciaramitaro, vice president of enrollment services at H&R Block. “Taxpayers can get free, expert help from licensed advisors in understanding their options, selecting a health insurance plan that is right for them and navigating the enrollment process.”
Millions of taxpayers may qualify for payment assistance in the form of the Advance Premium Tax Credit to help cover monthly insurance premiums.
“Many consumers are unaware that they may be eligible for cost-sharing reductions, which may be available with silver Marketplace plan enrollment, and lower out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, coinsurance and copayments,” Ciaramitaro said.
If consumers do not enroll in qualified health insurance coverage by February 15, 2015, they will not be able to enroll in Marketplace health insurance coverage unless they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a qualifying life event like marriage, divorce or the loss of employer health coverage. Consumers should also note that the Affordable Care Act tax penalty will increase for 2015 from $95 a person to $325 a person, or from 1 percent of household income above the filing threshold to 2 percent, whichever is greater. For example, a married couple with no children and a household income of $65,000 could see a penalty of almost $900 instead of the lesser $650 flat penalty if they do not enroll in qualified health insurance for 2015.
Know enrollment options
Recognizing that health insurance is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, H&R Block’s enrollment services offers personalized advice and enables consumers to compare plans offered both on and off the federal and state marketplaces, at the same prices.
When it comes to plan selection, consumers also should also consider other variables besides premium cost, such as:
- What are the deductible and co-pay obligations?
- Does the plan include medication someone is taking for a pre-existing condition?
- What hospitals and doctors are included?
- Will dental and vision be included or is that an extra cost?
“Not all plans are created equal. Knowing the true cost of the plan and all potential out-of-pocket expenses are as important as the monthly premium,” Ciaramitaro said. “Consumers will want to make their insurance work for them instead of them working for their insurance.”
To enroll, individuals do not need to be current or previous H&R Block clients and do not need to provide tax information. To find out if they may be eligible for the Advance Premium Tax Credit, view health plan options and enroll, consumers can visit https://healthcare.hrblock.com, operated by GoHealth, or call 800-HRBLOCK, to speak to a Licensed Health Care Advisor.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest consumer tax services provider. More than 650 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal 2014, H&R Block had annual revenues over $3.0 billion with 24.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide by professional tax preparers, and through H&R Block Tax Software products. H&R Block Bank provides affordable financial services products. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at http://newsroom.hrblock.com/.
GoHealth is a Chicago-based company that powers GoHealthInsurance.com, a private health insurance marketplace that has helped more than 30 million consumers shop for coverage. With world-class technology and a team of licensed insurance advisors, GoHealth helps individuals and families obtain the right health insurance coverage. Working with 300 health insurance companies, GoHealth enables consumers to easily compare and shop for a variety of brand-name health plans. GoHealth provides plan recommendations and enrollment support by phone and online at no cost to consumers. In 2013, the GoHealth Marketplace became the first private exchange to enroll consumers in subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. In addition to powering a private marketplace, GoHealth licenses technology solutions and provides business process outsourcing services related to individual health insurance. GoHealth was founded in 2001. For more information visit GoHealth.com, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GoHealthDotCom and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gohealthinsurance.
Open enrollment for health insurance starts November 1.Taxpayers can avoid tax penalties in 2019 by obtaining health insurance for 2018.