Understanding the Open Enrollment Period for 2018
For 2018, the Open Enrollment Period will start on November 1, 2017 and finish on December 15, 2017. This provides exactly 45 days to purchase a health insurance plan through the individual marketplace.
What is the Open Enrollment Period exactly?
This refers to the period when Americans are allowed to purchase or make existing changes to their health insurance plan for the upcoming year. This has been a yearly occurrence since President Barack Obama passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, which is commonly referred to as Obamacare.
The aim of this bill was to allow Americans to purchase plans at an affordable rate, therefore bringing down the percentage of uninsured individuals in the US.
Things to keep in mind:
- In order to maintain the plan, you’ll be paying a monthly premium. There’s also a deductible, which is normally charged in January.
- Coverage for the plans purchased during the Open Enrollment Period begins on January 1, 2018 and last until the end of the year.
- If you miss the Open Enrollment period, there are a few viable options out there including short-term health insurance, employer-based coverage, Medicaid, and CHIP. These plans typically do not offer the same kind of coverage; therefore it’s always recommended to purchase an annual plan during the Open Enrollment Period.
- If you’re over the age of 65 and qualify for Medicare, you do not have to wait until the Open Enrollment period. Check out his form here.
- For Medicaid and CHIP, which provides health coverage to impoverished individuals, you can register at any point throughout the year.
- If you’re an American Indian or an Alaskan Native, you can purchase health insurance throughout the year.
What is a Qualifying Life Event (QLE)?
This refers to a major life change, which makes you ineligible from purchasing a health insurance plan during the Open Enrollment Period. Here are a few examples below.
- Marriage, divorce or legal separation
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Death of a spouse or child
- Change in residence or work location, which impacts the eligibility
- Your child fails to meet the plan’s eligibility rules (for example, the student status changes)
- You or your covered dependents gain or lose other coverage because of a change in employment status (for example, beginning or ending a job)
The good news here is that you’re eligible for the Special Enrollment Period, but you’ll have to act within 60 days of the QLE. You can make an application where you’ll be prompted to answer a series of questions, which prove you’ve indeed experienced a life change. Once the application is approved, you will have access to buy a plan through the marketplace. If an application is not submitted within the first 60 days following the event, you’re forced to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period.
The bottom line
It’s really important to mark down these dates on your calendar and properly prepare for the Open Enrollment. If you’re really unsure how to proceed, you can always call HealthQuoteInfo at 855-614-5057 and speak to one our agents.