Important Health Insurance Marketplace Dates
The health insurance marketplace is up and running, and people can now shop for the insurance plans they need. It’s important to get insurance before fines start accruing, and there’s no reason to go without this coverage with the recent legal changes. Here are the dates that you should be aware of in 2014.
What key dates do I need to know?
Signing up for Coverage | Health Coverage Open Enrollment
Please contact us during the health coverage open enrollment to review available plans, find out about credits, and apply for your insurance coverage.
Open enrollment is currently going for 2014, but the opportunity to sign up for coverage will end on March 31, 2014. Moving into the 2015 calendar years, people who need insurance can apply for coverage between November 15, 2014 and January 15, 2015.
Insurance Coverage Dates
When you sign up for coverage through the Healthcare Exchange, you’ll need to know when your coverage actually starts.
If you want coverage to start on the first day of the following month, then you have to sign up between the 1st and the 15th of the month.
If you wait until the 16th or after, then your coverage won’t start until the first of the second month after you signed up. This means that early enrollees in November will have coverage as of December first. Those who wait until the middle of the month and later won’t have coverage in place until January first.
As part of the Affordable Healthcare Act, everyone is required to purchase insurance. If you’re uninsured in 2015, you could be facing a penalty. The penalty is the higher of one percent of your household income with a cap of the national average yearly premium for a bronze plan, or you will have to pay $95 per person with a family cap of $285.
Buying Outside of Open Enrollment
You can get insurance outside of the health coverage open enrollment dates if you have a qualifying life event. Examples would include getting married or divorced, adopting a child, giving birth to a baby or losing your job.
People can enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program at any time, and employers can start offering coverage to their staff at any time.
If you don’t have coverage through your employer, then you need to know when the open enrollment dates are. Take the time to visit the system during health coverage open enrollment to get your insurance and avoid being charged a fine in 2015.
One last option available for individuals who have missed health coverage open enrollment and are interested in major medical protection for up to 12 months is short term health insurance.
Short term health insurance is available to purchase year round, but pre-Obamacare medical underwriting rules and pre-existing conditions apply. These short term policies have deductibles that range from $500 to $7,500 and will cover medical expenses up to $2,000,000.
Most policies last 6 months and you will have an option to renew. These policies are meant to cover major medical expenses only for a short time period. They normally will have a co-payment if you visit an urgent care center, but you are required to pay for any other medical expense.
One last thing to consider is that since these plans are not ACA compliant, you will need to pay the penalty for not having coverage that meets the federal guidelines. The benefit of this policy, is that is is much less expensive than anything you will see in the market by 40-60%!
If you have questions about enrollment dates or short term health insurance, please call Josh Docktor, Independent Insurance Agent at Docktor’s Insurance for more information, 1-888-773-1181 x1