If you are confused about the many changes to the American health care system, don’t worry! The situation involving the American health care and insurance industry is evolving rapidly, but there are ways to keep up with the changes and not get left behind. If you are wondering when and how to register for health care using the federal health care marketplace, read on. Here are five things you need to know about the Open Enrollment Period.
- What is the Open Enrollment Period?
The Open Enrollment Period is part of the health care marketplace, which allows qualified members to register for affordable health care policies for 2018. The marketplace was set up as part of the Affordable Care Act to provide residents of the United States access to suitable health insurance policies.
There is a penalty for not having health insurance as set up by the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. You can avoid having to pay this penalty if you purchase a health insurance plan during the Open Enrollment Period.
- When can I enroll?
You can enroll during the open enrollment period between November 1st, 2017, and December 15th, 2017. If you miss this Open Enrollment Period for health insurance for 2018, you may be able to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period in 2018. You can also apply for Medicare or the CHIP program at any time during the year.
If you have private health insurance or are provided with health insurance through your job, you do not need to sign up for a health care policy using the marketplace.
- What is different this year?
The Open Enrollment Period is shorter this year than it has been before. Due to changes in the Affordable Care Act, the Open Enrollment Period will be about six weeks shorter than usual.
There will likely be fewer policies to choose from in the marketplace, as the instability of the health insurance market has caused major insurance companies like Aetna to pull out many of their policies. Unfortunately, this means that there are fewer health insurance policies available for people looking to enroll and not a large variety of insurance policies being offered.
For the past few months, President Donald Trump and the Republican Party have tried and failed to pass a repeal-and-replace bill, which means Obamacare is here to stay for the time being.
- What is the Special Enrollment Period?
The Special Enrollment Period allows people to purchase a health insurance policy at various times throughout the year based on your personal circumstances. If you move states, get married, or have a baby, you can change your health insurance policy to reflect your change in status. There are other qualifying circumstances that may allow you to enroll in health care under a Special Enrollment Period.
If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you can register for a health insurance policy 30 days after your change in circumstances.
- How can I enroll?
You can enroll in the federal health care marketplace during the Open Enrollment Period using the federal or state-based exchange. You can also use Healthy Halo, which allows you to work with an agent for free that can show you all the options.
In order to enroll in the health insurance marketplace, you must live in the United States, be a U.S. resident or national, and not currently be incarcerated. If you already have Medicare, you don’t have to enroll in the marketplace.
You can also enroll in the health care marketplace based in your own state. This allows you to choose from policies that allow you to keep visiting the medical centers and professionals that you may already be familiar with. You may also receive discounts on some policies based on your state, depending on the health insurance situation in your area. In California, you can begin the renewal process on October 11, 2017 for the 2018 period.
Do you still have questions about the Open Enrollment Period? Are you thinking about purchasing a plan? Well, you can always give us a call and we’ll provide you with the latest information and all the options on the market. Phone today at 1-844-699-6873.