The Affordable Care Act (known by many as Obamacare) requires that people have insurance and that insurance companies provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, as well as access to insurance for people at any income level. Anyone that does not have insurance can be assessed a fine when they file their taxes. Many people receive insurance through their workplace. However, people who are self-employed, or who do not work, will have to seek out their own health insurance.
Many people choose to seek insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. In fact, the number of people who use this resource increases each year. Enrollment has to be done during a yearly period known as Open Enrollment. Here are a few important facts you need to know about Open Enrollment.
Open Enrollment Has a Deadline
Although the process is called Open Enrollment, the process does close. Open Enrollment starts on November 1 in 2017. During this time period, people can enroll in, re-enroll in, or change their insurance plan through the marketplace. On December 15, 2017, that opportunity closes. After that date, people must qualify for a special enrollment period if they wish to enroll. Your new coverage will start on January 1, assuming you have paid all your initial premiums.
Enrollment Can be Done Online
For residents of most states, the Health Insurance Marketplace is located online at HealthCare.gov. There, people can research the different options and consider which is best for their income level and personal needs. Some states and the District of Columbia use their own processes and may have a slightly different open enrollment period.
If you do use HealthCare.gov, you can view options without logging in or setting up an account. The available options and their prices will vary depending on your income. You may qualify for certain tax credits which would reduce the price. Once you want to make a choice, the process will require you to set up an account. After that, you will be able to log-in with a username and password.
Insurance Agents Can Help
If you’re feeling confused and overwhelmed reading about Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, the Health Insurance Marketplace, and Open Enrollment, you are not alone. The process of selecting an insurance option can be difficult. This is especially true as options become more limited and complicated.
Talking to a professional insurance agent about your needs can be reassuring, as they can do the appropriate research, and recommend the best options for your situation. You are not required to only use the Health Insurance Marketplace to obtain health insurance. You can purchase your health insurance through an agent to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
Furthermore, if you do choose to use the Health Insurance Marketplace, an insurance agent can still advise you on your options. Most people already have other forms of insurance (such as home and car insurance). Your insurance provider will usually be happy to discuss health insurance and they may be able to help you bundle all your insurance selections into one monthly bill for greater convenience.
If you want to take the opportunity of Obamacare’sopen enrollment in 2017, talk to a professional insurance agent today to learn more about your options and make the right choice in this limited enrollment period.