March 31 calendar feature

March 31 is the deadline to buy 2014 health insurance

March 17, 2014 Ryan Schuster

March 31 is the deadline for you to sign up for new individual or family plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota for 2014 coverage. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • The next open enrollment period begins on November 15, 2014, for coverage starting in 2015.
  • If you don't enroll in health insurance by March 31, you could face a tax penalty as a result of the individual mandate that requires most Americans to have health insurance in 2014.
  • To check out your coverage options and avoid the penalty, you can get started at www.BCBSND.com/shop or by calling 1-800-280-BLUE (2583).

Does the March 31 deadline apply to you?
Get insurance through employer
If you already receive health insurance coverage through an employer, the March 31 deadline does not apply to you. If your employer offers insurance coverage but you are not currently enrolled, you may have to wait until your employer's next open enrollment period begins.

Get insurance through Medicare/Medicaid
If you already receive coverage through a government program like Medicare or Medicaid, the March 31 deadline does not impact you (those who qualify for Medicaid can sign up anytime at healthcare.gov).

Deadline applies to marketplace and non-marketplace plans
The March 31 deadline applies to individual and family plans purchased on the marketplace and directly from us.

If your situation changes after March 31
If you get married, divorced, have a baby, experience a significant change in your income or other changes after March 31, you may qualify for a special enrollment period. Current BCBSND members whose plans are being discontinued because of Affordable Care Act regulations are being automatically transferred to new plans unless members tell us otherwise. Current members with plans being discontinued on May 1, 2014, can enroll in different BCBSND plans between April 1 and April 30, in addition to the open enrollment period, to avoid a gap in coverage. If you aren't sure if this applies to you, please call us at 1-800-280-BLUE (2583) and we'll help you.

How does the marketplace work?
State health insurance marketplaces were created by the Affordable Care Act to provide another way to buy insurance. The North Dakota marketplace is available to you by selecting North Dakota at healthcare.gov.

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 handy tax credit calculator to find out if you 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. We know health reform can be confusing. We're here to help.