The open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) here. Signed into law in 2014, the legislation overhauled and expanded regulations to the nation’s health care system. This year, not much has changed in Washington, but the marketplace is shifting and deadlines will still need to be met.
One of the constants which have carried through year after year has been the period of time you may enroll in an approved plan. For plans beginning January 1, 2020, the first day you may begin enrolling is November 1.
The enrollment period remains open for a month and a half, closing on December 15. If you do not take action by this date, you will be unable to obtain coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) which generally includes a household resident:
- Got married
- Passed away
- Had a baby, adopted or place a child into foster care
- Got divorced or legally separated and lost health insurance
There are also Special Enrollment Periods for household moves. If you move to a new zip code, to the U.S. from a foreign country, to/from your school, to/from where you both live and work, or to/from a shelter, you may qualify for coverage outside the open enrollment period.
From a legal perspective, 2019 saw the elimination of the individual health insurance mandate and the tax penalty associated with it. This means you had more options heading into open enrollment last year. You could have selected a health exchange plan, short-term medical option, hospital plan, or gone without entirely.
What is new for the upcoming ACA enrollment period will be the broadened selection of plans available to you. According to an eHealth survey, almost half of all insurers said they intend to increase the number of ACA plan offerings. This means you will have more coverage options available to you and the potential to see competitive pricing.
Choosing a Plan
With more plan options expected his year, navigating the plans available to you can be confusing. As your agent, I am here to help. Please call me anytime to help you evaluate and select a plan that meets your personal insurance needs – and your budget.