Question: When does the clock start on penalties for not having health insurance? Is it January 1 or March 31, 2014?
Answer: Originally, the ACA the minimum essential coverage provision stated that an individual must pay a penalty if he or she does not have coverage for more than three consecutive months in a year. But the feds just published an FAQ concerning the open enrollment period for individuals purchasing qualified health plans. The guidance states that individuals will be able to enroll throughout the entire enrollment period, which lasts through March 31 2014, and not be subject to the individual shared responsibility payment. A person enrolling after March 15th will not be covered until May 1st, well over the three consecutive months rule.