The open enrollment window dates for the Affordable Care Act of 2016, are November 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016, and are effective whether you purchase from an Obamacare (ACA) insurance exchange or from an insurance company. You will need a “qualifying event” to enroll outside of the open enrollment period. Qualifying events are: marriage, birth or adoption, becoming a United States citizen, losing other health coverage due to involuntary circumstances, or, relocating permanently to an area where new Obamacare health plans are available. The only exception to this rule is if you are a Nevada resident, where year-round coverage is available outside of the insurance exchange.
People who do not have a qualified ACA health insurance policy will have to pay a tax penalty. Penalties start at $695 per individual, $2,085 per family or 2.5 percent of income in 2016. If your annual income is low enough, you will not have to pay an Obamacare tax penalty.