Have you ever laid in bed at night and wondered, “What would happen if I got sick? If my kid broke their arm on the playground? How would I pay for everything?” If so, you’re not alone. Healthcare is the greatest financial concern for families across America, reports Gallup. Thankfully, now is the perfect time to start preparing for next year’s health care needs, especially if you do not have access to a health plan through your employer. Before 2017 ends, here’s what you need to know about getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
1. ACA Open Enrollment Dates
First thing to know? The time period to enroll is shorter than before. The 2018 Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017. Plans sold during this period start January 1, 2018. Mark your calendars to make sure you don’t miss out!
Still need coverage for 2017? The enrollment period has passed, but there may be a few options available to you. Answer a few questions on HealthCare.gov to see what you’re eligible for.
2. The Benefits of Enrolling
Why enroll? Enrolling in a major medical health insurance plan means getting an insurance plan that meets all of the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act. When you pay your monthly premiums, you should get…
- A negotiated (typically reduced) price when you visit the doctor’s office
- Free preventative care screenings, including free dietary counseling if you’re looking to lose weight or quit tobacco
- A limit on what you pay out-of-pocket for covered medical expenses, or what’s called an “out-of-pocket maximum”
Thanks to these benefits, enrolling in a major medical health plan can help you avoid a financial meltdown when there’s a medical emergency…something that many Americans are all too familiar with. Medical expenses are one of the top reasons Americans file for bankruptcy.
3. Your Options if You Don’t Enroll
Let’s say you miss the open enrollment date or decide that enrolling in a plan isn’t right for you. What happens next? Well, your options will vary depending on your circumstances and the state you live in. You could…
- Qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event, Medicaid, or CHIP
- Purchase short-term health insurance outside of open enrollment
- Owe a fee for each month you go without coverage
Avoid having to pay a fee and do your best to protect your family from the financial burden of an illness or accident. You aren’t alone in your search for health insurance! Get the information you need from your local agent and get covered by December 15, 2017. Compare health insurance plans from top-rated carriers or call 1-855-851-0919 to speak with a licensed insurance expert to get help over the phone. Call or quote today to stop worrying tonight!
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