To meet the March 1 effective date, insurance companies require that you enroll by February 15th.
If you qualify for a subsidy, your best bet is to go to www.healthcare.gov. One of the most difficult part of the process, I’ve found, is establishing a user name and password! Hard to believe, but it’s true.
If you have several people in your household and they contribute to your household income, the process can be quite tedious. It’s best to try to be as accurate as possible when you are estimating what your household income will be, because if you estimate incorrectly, you could end up paying additional money to the IRS when they look at your tax return.
FYI – your penalty for 2014 probably won’t amount to that much. But if you don’t get coverage in place this year, when you do your 2015 taxes you could be in for an unpleasant surprise when the IRS holds back all of part of your refund to cover the penalty for not having a policy in place. The penalty applies to you and every person residing in your household ( such as your spouse and children). Everyone must have a health plan!