DENVER — A new year means a whole new list of important dates for you to know. Here are a few to pay attention to.
This marks the end of open enrollment for health care coverage. In 2023, for a third year in a row a record number of Americans enrolled in the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace. More than 19 million people signed up for plans.
People who enroll between December 15 and January 16 will begin having coverage in February.
Four states and Washington, D.C. have penalties for people who do not sign up for health insurance. Those states are Massachusetts, New Jersey, California and Rhode Island. However, there are exemptions for some people.
In Massachusetts, for instance, there’s no penalty if you make less than 150% of the federal poverty level. There are also religious and hardship exemptions. Penalties in these states range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
There is a link to the application on the federal government’s health care website as well a tool to help compare and review plans and to get local help.
This marks the end of Daylight Saving Time. Clocks will spring forward by one hour. For years, Congress as well as individual states have been debating legislation to end the time change and keep their clocks permanently set to one time. The federal bill passed the Senate unanimously in 2022 but has been stuck in the House.
To help adjust, the Centers for Disease Control previously posted tips on how to adapt to the time change.
- Try to go to bed 15-20 minutes earlier to help your body adjust to the change.
- Go outside when you wake up to get some early morning sunlight on Sunday to help your body adjust.
- Stick to your normal bedtime the Sunday of Daylight Saving Time.
- Slide your schedule to adjust for the time change by eating meals a little earlier.
Some other advice: avoid the snooze button so your body can get used to the new time and take a nap and be careful operating a car if you’re feeling tired.
Get your documents ready because it’s tax day. There are some changes to the tax code this year that could help some families to save money.
First, the standard deduction for married couples filing jointly for tax year 2024 rises to $29,200, an increase of $1,500 from tax year 2023. Meanwhile, for single filers, the standard deduction rises to $14,600 for 2024, a bump of $750 from last year.
Some tax brackets also changed:
- 37% for incomes over $609,350 ($731,200 for married couples filing jointly)
- 35% for incomes over $243,725 ($487,450 for married couples filing jointly)
- 32% for incomes over $191,950 ($383,900 for married couples filing jointly)
- 24% for incomes over $100,525 ($201,050 for married couples filing jointly)
- 22% for incomes over $47,150 ($94,300 for married couples filing jointly)
- 12% for incomes over $11,600 ($23,200 for married couples filing jointly)
- 10% for incomes of $11,600 or less ($23,200 for married couples filing jointly)
Get your team USA apparel out because the Summer Olympics are returning. The games will be played in Paris this year and feature four new sports: break dancing, skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing.
Some big names like Simone Biles and Mikaela Shiffrin will return to the main stage once again.
You can learn more about Team USA here and stay up to date will all the latest Olympic developments.
The on-ramp provided by the Biden administration for student loan repayments comes to an end on this date.
That means, without further federal intervention, harsher penalties will be in place for people who miss a payment on their loans.
Right now, the Department of Education is not reporting missed payments to credit bureaus. It's also not placing those loans into default or delinquent status or referring the borrower to a collection bureau.
After the Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s executive order to cancel student loans for tens of millions of borrowers last July, payments restarted last September.
Since the Supreme Court's decision, the president has been rolling out several other student loan forgiveness policies, though more narrowly focused.
If you are having trouble repaying your loans, the federal government has an informational site that spells out various repayment plans and offers resources to help.
If you love sleep, this is the day for you. Daylight saving time comes to an end. Clocks will fall back by one hour.
That also means the sun will set earlier so get those sun rays in while you can!
Get your ballot ready because it’s election day. This is a presidential election year. Numerous congressional seats will also be up for grabs as well as state and local seats.
If you have not registered to vote, you can do so here. The federal website also features information about registration deadlines, how to check your registration status or change your political affiliation and more.
You can also follow all of the big stories on candidates leading up to the election here.