Do you have a qualifying event that will allow you to buy health insurance outside Open Enrollment? If yes, you can still buy an ‘Obamacare Plan 2016’ for yourself. The last period for open enrollment ended on January 31st, 2016. The Federal Government has, of course, kept two options open for those who wish to enroll through special enrollment period:

  1. You may still qualify for special enrollment period in case you have certain qualifying life events(less coverage from employer, marriage or divorce)
  2. You qualify for CHIP or Medicaid, federal government plans for those with disabilities and low income- then you can buy health insurance any time of the year
  • *** Of course, the native people of Alaska and the Indian tribes have the exception of getting affordable health insurance coverage any time of the year

If you do not fall under any of the categories above, you may very well gear up for Open Enrollment 2017. With just 3 months to go for the period to begin, it is better you do your home work right away. The dates for Open Enrollment 2017 are provided here, to ensure you don’t pay penalty for not having health insurance coverage:

Date- Sign UpDate- Coverage Starting
November 1, 2016 to December 15, 2016January 1, 2017
December 16, 2016 to January 15, 2017February 1, 2017
January 16, 2017 to January 31, 2017March 1, 2017

Table: Dates for signing up and the starting of coverage accordingly***

Luckily, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has similar options for individual & family coverage, as in employer-sponsored programs.

However, things aren’t that difficult anymore post Obamacare and you can look for qualifying events easily. Check the following list of qualifying initiatives:

  • Expect losing coverage within next 2 months- 60 days
  • Lost qualifying coverage in last 2 months- 60 days
  • Got married
  • Got a divorce
  • Birth or death of a child/dependent, adopting child, putting child for foster care or adoption
  • Changing to a new location
  • Disability status change
  • Lost health coverage that was employer-sponsored
  • Receiving US citizenship
  • Changes in certain income parameters
  • Exceptional circumstances or some errors (only when reviewed case-by-case)
  • End of Cobra insurance period

Open Enrollment 2017 – Changes you must know:

  • Deadlines have changed for 2017 open enrollment (see table above)
  • Signing up is a must if you don’t have health insurance from some other source
  • This is the best time to make changes to your current policy
  • Open enrollment exchange is just for health-based insurance
  • Miss open enrollment 2017, and you will wait another year (paying extra taxes)
  • You will pay higher penalties if you don’t have health insurance now
  • There are four levels of health plans for individual and family
  • Check if your plan covers 10 essential advantages
  • Learn how to manage chronic diseases
10 essential benefits every health policy must provide
Care for outpatients ( including chronic diseases )EmergencyHospitalizationPre natal, child birth, and post natalMental issues and drug abusePrescribed drugsDevices and services for rehabilitationLaboratory tests (X-ray, Sonography, ECG, etc.)Wellness and preventive careVision and dental checkups (children)
  • Your tax credits will be calculated on the basis of your income and size of your family
No. of people in the family2017 poverty level for USA (continental) – Federal Govt.Threshold for premium subsidy (400% of the poverty level)- Federal Guidelines

It is better to go through at least a few plans and then decide which offers the best coverage. TrueCoverage can help you choose the right health insurance plan. Our licensed insurance agents will help you understand subsidy eligibility and answer all your questions.

If you plan everything in advance, the next open enrollment will definitely be a smooth ride, instead of being a nightmare. It is your health, your money- so you have every right to get the best. Of course, a little home work will take you far in accomplishing your health coverage goals.

Verified by MonsterInsights