Open Enrollment Ends on Dec. 15 — Here’s What You Should Know

So far, about 3.6 million people have signed up for Obamacare health insurance plans. Now there’s only about a week left to get health insurance for 2018.

Here’s what you need to know about open enrollment this year.

What is open enrollment?

Open enrollment refers to the period of time when you can make changes to your health care benefits. During this time, you can pick a new insurance plan for 2018.

Didn’t I have longer in the past?

This year, the Department of Health and Human Services shortened the length of time to enroll from three months to 45 days.

In a last-ditch effort, a Care2 petition by Moms Rising is requesting more time. Think about adding your name to support their iniative.

Can I use the same insurance company?

Maybe. Due to a number of factors, not all companies are available on the exchange — or their costs are increasing. Beware that ome areas have few — even none — insurance providers in the exchange this year.

What if I want to change my health insurance after a major life change?

You can. Getting pregnant or married, for instance, allows you to change your insurance after open enrollment ends. If you lose your job and the health insurance attached to it, that situation also qualifies.

These events allow you to have a “special enrollment period” that doesn’t end on December 15 — but make sure to take care of it within 60 days.

What if I move?

Moving also qualifies as a major life change, which enables you to enroll after December 15. But keep in mind you need to prove that you had “qualifying health coverage for one or more days during the 60 days before your move.”

What if I’ll age out of my parents’ health insurance coverage in the next year?

You may also qualify for a special enrollment period. Just make sure you or your parents pay the bills until then. And don’t drop out of the plan beforehand if you want to shop for a new insurance in the marketplace after December 15.

What about Medicaid recipients?

If you qualify for Medicaid, you can apply at any time – even after December 15.

The same goes for those who use the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Keep in mind that both of these programs were cut quite a bit this year.

What if I disagree with a decision about my health insurance?

You can send in an appeal to get additional financial help with your insurance or address any other decisions you disagree with.

Do I have to get insurance?

The Trump administration seems poised to undo the individual mandate stating that everyone must have health insurance.

This policy was originally put in place so that healthy people would buy insurance too, driving down costs for everyone. It also sated insurance companies that wanted to deny coverage because of preexisting conditions, which Obamacare prohibited.

You may not have the government compelling you to get health insurance soon. However, if the tax bill gets passed into law, it will go into effect in 2019 — so you still need to get insurance or pay a penalty.

“You should buy insurance because it helps you get access to care, and it’s critical financial protection in case something awful happens,” Sabrina Corlette of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute tells Time.

Photo Credit: franchise opportunities/Flickr

45 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

Thanks

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Stephanie s
Stephanie Y7 months ago

Thank you

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Leo C
Leo C7 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Janis K
Janis K7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Toni W
Toni W7 months ago

TYFS

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Toni W
Toni W7 months ago

TYFS

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckx7 months ago

I said it already a couple of times, but I say it again : I AM SO HAPPY NOT TO BE AN AMERICAN. First, I think you need to have followed high school to understand anything about your health care / health insurance, etc.. 2ndly, it are always the lowest paid workers, and even the immigrants who have the worst paid jobs who are the victims.... Young people need their money for rent and utilities, and for a good education of their children. Now they have to pay for health care. They do not ready these articles or EVEN UNDERSTAND NOT A WORD OF IT ?? SO, INEVITABLY, THEY WILL BE THE FIRST VICTIMS. We have a system by which a certain % of our loan is deducted each month that we work to cover our pensions, and dental and medical costs. When you have a very small pension or income, we only have to pay our share up to a max. amount, after which, nearly everything is fully re-imbursed. Since the economy became worse in 2008, Government also cut some items out of this system, or partially, but in general, each of us still can afford his treatments, surgery, medications etc.. And if my memory is still okay, we are amongst the best in Europe, and certainly much better than the U.S.A.

I feel so sorry for all the disabled, and chronically ill people in the U.S.A. !! 2018 will not be het best year of their lives.

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Winn Adams
Winn A7 months ago

Noted

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Winn Adams
Winn A7 months ago

Thanks

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Veronica D
Veronica Danie7 months ago

Thank you so very much.

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