Press Release, January 25, 2016, ACA Updates: Important Deadlines and Changes

Last Updated: January 25, 2016

Date: January 25, 2016
For more information contact: J.P. Wieske, Public Information Officer, (608) 266-2493 or

ACA Updates: Important Deadlines and Changes

Madison, WI—Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel reminds consumers and businesses that there are a number of important deadlines and a number of changes in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

"While the implementation of the Affordable Care Act began with its passage in 2010, there have been a number of changes made throughout the years," stated Commissioner Nickel. "Most importantly, consumers should be aware that open enrollment in the individual market will end on January 31. For businesses, there are also a number of important changes including to the employer mandate."

Open Enrollment
As most consumers know, the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to offer coverage on a guaranteed issue basis to all eligible consumers during an annual open enrollment period. This year open enrollment runs from November 1, 2015, until January 31, 2016. Consumers seeking individual coverage should sign up before January 31 or risk being locked out of the individual insurance market until 2017. Of course, consumers facing a loss of their group coverage or other special situations may be eligible for special enrollment periods.

Employer Mandate
In the last several years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services delayed the impact of the employer mandate on businesses. For employers with more than 50 employees, the mandate will be enforced for 2016. (For more information see

It is important to note that neither your insurer nor your insurance agent may have the tax expertise to advise you in how to comply with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule or how to complete Form W-2 Reporting of Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage. As a result, you may have to consult with a tax professional. (For more information see

Tax Filings
Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals are required to prove that they were covered under a health insurance policy. Since this provision is administered by the IRS, individual tax returns will require taxpayers to include this information as part of their individual tax filing. (For more information see In most cases your employer or your insurer will provide you with form 1095 which includes this information. It is also important to note that individuals receiving subsidized health insurance through the federal exchange may have to file their taxes even if their income falls below the filing threshold.

Created by the Legislature in 1870, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.