Department of Human Services

Making Health Insurance Make Sense February 2015 Part 2

Answers to Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions

February 2, 2015 | 2 min reading time

This article is 9 years old. It was published on February 2, 2015.

CMS Logo1   Health Insurance Marketplace logo

Q:  I don't have health insurance, and I missed the deadline to have coverage starting January 1.  Can I still enroll?  Will I be penalized for missing part of the year?

A:  Yes, you can still enroll.  Open Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace runs until February 15, 2015, so there's still time to get covered.  If you do that, and if you keep your policy in force for the rest of 2015, you won't have to pay a Shared Responsibility Fee, even though you had a month or two without coverage.  You can do this by going to, or calling the Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596, any time.  Phone lines are open 24 hours every day.  You can also find local help by going to and entering your City and State or Zip Code.  Local assistors, trained on the Health Insurance Marketplace, who are unbiased, are available to help you shop, compare and enroll.

Q:  I already have health insurance coverage, through the Health Insurance Marketplace, which automatically renewed, but the premium went up.  Can I still shop for a better deal?

A:  Yes.  You can still change plans before February 15, and the change will be effective March 1.  And many people will find that shopping in the Health Insurance Marketplace can really pay off.  More than 70% of those already enrolled can find a lower premium plan, at the same metal level, before tax credits, than they have now.  Many consumers are finding plans, after tax credits, for $100 a month, or less.  In addition, going back into the Marketplace, will help assure you of getting all the tax credits for which you are eligible.  If your allowed tax credit went up on 2015, but you automatically renewed, you could be missing out on lower upfront costs for your policy.  On the other hand, if your allowed credits went down, you need to know that now, so you won't have to repay the excess when you file your taxes next year.

Q:  Filling out the application in the Health Insurance Marketplace was time-consuming last year.  Do I have to go through the whole thing again?

A: No.  If you've already filled out an application, you'll find about 90% of the renewal document is already filled in with information you've given.  It's easy to change anything if you need to.  If you're new to Marketplace, you'll be directed to an all-new application page, which is much shorter and simpler than last year's, for the vast majority of people.

For more information, visit, or call the Marketplace call center at

1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, except for major holidays.  There is help in up to 150 different languages.


Department of Human Services

City of St. Louis