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New wife insurance

I have a friend that wanted me to try to find an answer for him.

He filed his taxes on 2015 and had to pay a penalty on his live in girlfriend and their baby, as the employer he is with does not cover spouses.  

This is now in Feb and she ask about insurance on private exchange but his cpa informed him he will still have to pay a penalty next year because she did not get insurance during the sign up period for the exchanges.  

Basically what the cpa told him if she gets insurance now, he will have to pay for the insurance and still pay the $1,000.00 penalty when he files next year.

Has anyone else heard of this?

We live in Texas and do not have the expanded Medicaid.  I do do believe that we are required to buy private insurance during the sign up period only.

Thanks.

Alton
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