A new period would let people sign up as soon as they get a taste of the financial penalty that comes with not enrolling. Americans who didn’t have insurance in 2014 may owe a fine of as much as 1 percent of their income. If they remain uncovered this year, the fine may as much as double, to 2 percent of their income. Income tax filings are due April 15.
The Treasury Department has estimated as many as 6 million people may owe the penalty for not carrying insurance in 2014. About 10 million people have signed up for insurance this year under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Elizabeth Colvin, director of Insure Central Texas, a local advocacy group, asked Burwell about an extra enrollment period in a meeting earlier in the day.
“It needs to happen,” she said in an interview. “People who are penalized on April 15 can’t do anything.”