If consumers can enroll in plans offered through health insurance Marketplaces during late winter and early spring, more uninsured are likely to receive coverage than under current enrollment schedules. For 2015, the open enrollment period (OEP) is slated to end on February 15. After that date, uninsured consumers who pay their penalty on tax returns filed by April 15, 2015, could be allowed to enroll into coverage, thereby avoiding additional, steeper penalties. In future years, changing OEPs from the proposed October through December schedule would likely require adjusting Marketplace plan years as well. Such changes offer both gains and risks.
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