It is now 2017. That means that the time to finalize your health care coverage for the year is fast approaching.
Open enrollment is the time of year that you choose a new health care plan or change your existing coverage. Many private insurers have already wrapped up their open enrollment periods for the year. However, some might still have this period open.
The same goes for health care plans offered by the Affordable Care Act. The ACA's marketplace for health plans has been holding its open enrollment period from Nov. 1, 2016 to Jan. 31, 2017. Here are a few tips to keep in mind at this time of year.
- If you bought or changed an ACA plan before Dec. 15, your new plan should have taken effect on Jan. 1.
- However, you can still enroll in an Affordable Care Act plans up until Jan. 31. The enrollment period for ACA plans closes on that date.
- Remember, it is against the law for most people to be without health care coverage. If you don’t carry health insurance coverage—regardless of whether it is private or ACA-managed—after open enrollment period ends, you could face financial penalties.
After Jan. 31 you can only enroll in an Affordable Care Act plan if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Special enrollment periods are only granted in special or extraordinary circumstances. Some of these qualifications include:
- Termination of existing health benefits. This might be when you change jobs or lose a spouse’s coverage
- Losing COBRA Coverage
- Losing Medicaid or CHIP coverage
- The Birth of a Child
- Becoming a new U.S. Citizen
- Moving. Certain household moves also might qualify you for a special enrollment period
You should always check your eligibility for a special enrollment period. Not every situation is the same, nor is every qualification. You can typically obtain a special enrollment period any time of the year. However, you usually have to enroll in a new plan within 60 days. If you don’t enroll by then, you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period.
The Affordable Care Act will likely see a lot of changes in 2017. Therefore, stay up-to-date on any changes to enrollment periods or to your coverage itself.
If you need to enroll in health care coverage, we are here to help. Call us today at (405) 373-2977 for more Oklahoma health insurance. You can also explore our website for additional resources on health coverage.