It is that time of year again, Open Enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. From November 1 through December 15th anyone can submit an application through the federal website. This deadline is fast approaching. Those who miss the deadline will have to wait until next year’s open enrollment to get health insurance unless they have a qualifying event. Even worse, they can be subject to the penalty for not carrying insurance for that tax year.
There are 12 states that operate their own exchanges and are able to extend the open enrollment period. 8 of the 12 have extended their open enrollment past the December 15th federal deadline.
States with an Extended December Deadline
The following states have an extended December deadline. Applicants in these states can file through the state exchange website. The effective date of coverage for these states will be January 1, 2018.
The following states have a mid-January deadline. Applicants in these states can file through their state exchange website. The effective date of coverage for these states will be February 1, 2018. The deadlines are as follows:
The following states have an end of January deadline. Applicants in these states can file through their state exchange website. The effective date of coverage for these states will be March 1, 2018. The deadlines are as follows:
There are several reasons why you would want to use this opportunity to enroll in health insurance. Other than avoiding the tax penalty for being uninsured here are just a few of the reasons you should make use of this open enrollment period:
Having health insurance gives you access to better health care. -Let’s face it, if you walk into a doctor’s office or emergency room; all the facility cares about is getting paid for the services they are rendering. If you have insurance, the office or hospital know they will be compensated for your treatment. When you don’t, then they are going to find the cheapest way to treat your condition, often neglecting the more expensive tests that could be more accurate.
Open enrollment gives you an opportunity to make changes. -If in the last year you have had any changes, like the birth of a child, loss of a job, promotion in a job, or you have moved, then you have the opportunity to adjust your coverage and deductibles. Of course, if any of those events happen, you are automatically eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to make changes, but if you did not make use of that provision, now is the time to make your changes.
Having insurance coverage helps you in catastrophic situations. -If you have the unfortunate incident of being in an auto accident where it is your fault, unless you have a Personal Injury Protection rider on your policy, your medical bills come out of your pocket. If you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, and you are in the middle of the year; you cannot apply for You would have to wait for the next open enrollment, then the effective date the following year. All your medical bills will be out of pocket. If you have health insurance, then some of those costs will be absorbed after your deductible.
Just because you are healthy, you still need insurance. Just because you are willing to take the penalty because you feel it’s cheaper than paying for insurance, you still need insurance. Insurance is a gamble. Just like life insurance or auto insurance. You are betting that something will not happen to you, but you have the coverage in case something does.
Take advantage of this year’s open enrollment. The deadlines are approaching fast, and even if you live in a state with an extended deadline, you don’t have to wait to apply. The sooner you act, the sooner you can have the coverage you need should the unthinkable happen.
For more information on insurance options and deadlines visit buyhealthinsurance.com or contact one of our knowledgeable representatives at 1-800-793-3803.