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New Yorkers facing penalties have more time to sign up for health coverage



The deadline to file your tax return is just under two months away. As many Americans file, they’re finding there are more questions about health insurance on the annual tax forms than ever before based on changes in place because of the Affordable Care Act.

In New York, and several other states, people who find they owe a penalty on their 2014 tax return will now have a special enrollment period to sign up for health coverage.

New Yorkers who qualify will have from March first until the end of April to enroll. This follows a similar decision by the federal government.

“Most people are just going to simply check a box saying I had health insurance, because they got it through their job. The vast majority of people get health coverage through their job,” said Julie Appleby, Senior Correspondent for Kaiser Health News.

Americans who got a subsidy that helped with the cost of monthly insurance premiums will have to figure out whether they owe some of that money back based on their income qualifications.

“Then they have to reconcile that. Did they get the right amount? Did they get too little and maybe the government owes them some more money? Or did they get too much of a subsidy and maybe they have to pay some of it back,” explained Appleby.

Further complicating the tax issue, the federal government sent out 800 thousand forms that may include incorrect tax information about insurance premium subsidies. State health officials say this does not affect New York.