Open enrollment closes on Dec. 15
The deadline for open enrollment on Healthcare.org is just two weeks away.
The deadline for open enrollment for health care coverage in 2018 year is Dec. 15, 2017, which is 45 days less than previous open enrollment periods.
The only way to enroll after the deadline is if you experience a qualifying life event, as detailed by financial website NerdWallet:
Loss of health insurance
- Losing health insurance for any reason other than paying premiums
- Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program
- Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent’s plan
Changes in household
- Marriage or divorce
- Having a baby or adopting a child
- Losing coverage due to a family death
Changes in residence
- Move to a new zip code or parish
- Student moving to or from college
- Seasonal worker moving to or from location
- Moving to or from shelter/transitional home
- Becoming eligible for Medicaid
- Becoming eligible for tax credits that will lower your premiums, if you already have an ACA plan
- Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe
- Becoming a U.S. citizen
- Leaving jail
New Healthcare.gov customers may be required to provide documentation of these life events. Customers have 60 days from the date of the life event to make the changes.
If you get health insurance through an employer, a university as a student, Medicare or Medicaid, your enrollment period will be different. Medicare enrollment ends on Dec. 7. Medicaid enrollment lasts year round. Children’s Health Insurance Program (or CHIP) also enrolls year round. Most employer-sponsored enrollment plans are also in the fall.
According to NerdWallet:
“An advantage of using Healthcare.gov is that tax credits to lower your monthly premiums are available only on this federal marketplace or a state exchange. In 2017, 83 percent of consumers who bought on the federal marketplace had subsidized premiums, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.”
More than 600,00 people signed up under the Affordable Care Act (often referred to as Obamacare) in the first week of November, setting a record pace for enrollment from previous years, according to an article in the New York Times earlier this month.
Twenty-three percent “were new to the marketplace and did not have coverage this year through the federal insurance exchange,” the Times reported.
The new enrollees have come in an era of uncertainty for the ACA.
Most recently, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would effectively end the ACA individual mandate, which requires citizens to acquire and maintain health insurance or pay a tax penalty. A Senate vote this week will be the deciding factor in an effort to end the individual mandate and deal a significant blow to the ACA.
“Real change begins with immediately repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare,” Trump said late in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump has been an opponent of the ACA before he announced his candidacy for President.
Efforts to repeal and replace the ACA have failed so far. A bill made it to the Senate floor this past July after much deliberation, though it ultimately failed. In September, another repeal bill was revealed, co-sponsored by Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, though it also died without enough support from the Senate.