If you receive health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges, it’s time to review your coverage.
This time of year is the federal marketplace’s open enrollment period. Federal marketplace health insurance issued in 2017 will end on Dec. 31. New coverage for 2018 will start on Jan. 1. To make sure you keep your health insurance up to date, see what steps you need to take.
What is Open Enrollment?
Open enrollment is the time that plans managed on the ACA’s federal exchanges become due for renewal. It is when people who don’t get insurance from a source like an employer, spouse or parent can get their coverage from the federal marketplace. If you fail to carry health insurance, you could face tax penalties. Therefore, use this time of year to get the coverage you need.
The 2018 open enrollment period will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2017. During this period, insured individuals can renew or change their health insurance coverage. If you make adjustments or get a new plan during open enrollment, your coverage will start on Jan. 1, 2018. If you already have coverage on the marketplace, it will automatically renew, with a few exceptions.
Things to Remember During Open Enrollment
Keeping aware of open enrollment can help many Americans avoid potential coverage problems.
- If you have coverage from the private market or from your job, you may also have to renew during open enrollment. Therefore, check with your insurance provider to see when your policy is set for renewal. Some private plans follow open enrollment, while others do not.
- Some states have extended their open enrollment periods past the Dec. 15 deadline. Check with your insurer about your state’s rules. Remember, if your state has an extended deadline, your new coverage may not start on Jan. 1.
- If you decide to change plans, you may not be able to find the exact 2018 coverage you had in 2017. Nevertheless, you can often find a comparable plan as offered by your insurer.
- When buying from the exchanges, enroll in coverage offered specifically in your area. This is critical to ensuring that you get in-network services from your doctor or health providers.
- If you fail to enroll in coverage during the open enrollment period, you might miss your chance to do so. Individuals can only qualify for special or extended enrollment in limited circumstances.
Review the Open Enrollment Checklist to ensure you have the information you need to make enrollment successful.
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