Health Care Reform not only changed the way our health insurance policies work, but when you can enroll in coverage. Under the new laws you can only enroll in Individual coverage if you have a qualifying life event, such as marriage, divorce, or moving to a new state for example, or during an Open Enrollment period. Open Enrollment begins November 1, 2016 and will end on January 31, 2017. If you have health coverage provided by your employer, chances are you will not need to worry about Open Enrollment. Individual coverage typically is for those who do not have coverage provided by their employer or in some cases it may be less expensive than the plan offered by their employer.
A few things to keep in mind during Open Enrollment:
- If you enroll in coverage from November 1, 2016 – December 15, 2016 your coverage will begin on January 1, 2017. After that your effective date will follow the following rules, if you enroll the 1st through 15th of the month, your coverage will begin the 1st of the following month. If you enroll in coverage the 16th or the month or later, your coverage will be the 1st of the month, plus one additional month. Example – enroll December 3rd, coverage effective January 1st. Enroll December 27th, coverage effective February 1st.
- You may qualify for a government subsidy to pay for a portion of your premium. This will be based on your annual household income (MAGI or Modified Adjusted Gross Income). Your household will be based on who you claim on your income taxes.
- If your employer offers health insurance, you may not qualify for a subsidy. To qualify for a subsidy your job-based plan must be considered “unaffordable.” To see if your plan is “affordable“ it is calculated as follows: the employee’s share of monthly premiums for the lowest-cost self-only coverage that meets minimum value standard is less than 9.66% of their family’s income.
With all the rules and deadlines, enrolling in health insurance can be confusing and pretty stressful. Don’t worry, we can help. Contact of office and one of our certified agents can help you understand and enroll in individual health coverage.