Jeff Hess, individual, group, and ancillary health expert, wants to make sure that you don’t find yourself without health insurance this year. Make sure you know the dates for Open Enrollment. Watch the video below to learn when the start dates as well as when the cut-off dates are for this ACA season. You’ll also learn about the exception to the rule – special enrollment.
Okay, open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a set time when people can enroll in a qualified health plan. It actually starts November 1st and goes through ‘til January 31st. During that time frame, anybody can get an individual medical plan – or ACA plan or, if you prefer, an Obamacare plan – that’s qualified and will keep you from the penalty. Of course, we’ll go over the penalty at another time. More importantly, I want to stress that the 3-month window is really about the only time to enroll.
Starting February 1st through the rest of the year, the only time that you can get health insurance is having a special enrollment period. If you don’t have a special enrollment period, you may have a life changing event, meaning involuntarily losing coverage. In other words, let’s say that you got fired or you quit your job where you had health coverage. Even if you quit your job (you voluntarily quit the job, but by quitting and losing employment, you involuntarily lose coverage), then that means at that point you have 60 days to get coverage.
Also, if you get married, move from one state to another state that doesn’t accept your current plan, have a child, adopt a child, etc…then you have 60 days to get new coverage for the entire family. Again, February 1st all the way up to Open Enrollment, the only way you can get a qualified Affordable Care Act plan is actually by having a special enrollment. If not, you can’t get a qualified health plan.
It’s important to remember the dates – November 1st to January 31st. That is your Open Enrollment time frame; that’s when you can go out and get a qualified plan. Now we have options outside of Open Enrollment in case you don’t have a special enrollment period; you can get a health plan, just not a qualified health plan. So, it’s very important – November 1st to January 31st.
Now to get a January 1st effective date, you have from November 1st to December 15th. If you get a plan – do an application – at that time, you get a January 1st effective date; however, if you wait ‘til December 16th, then you get a February 1st effective date. These are the cut-off dates: December 15th, January 15th, and of course January 31st.
Since insurance is oftentimes overwhelmingly confusing, we want to shed light on this industry by answering YOUR questions. So if you have any questions or concerns, comment below and your question may be the topic of our next video!