It's the most wonderful time of the year ... to get insurance?
Updated: Jan 26, 2018
It’s the holiday season! Whether you are anticipating a Thanksgiving feast or are eager to embrace Christmas and Hanukkah festivities, you’ll undoubtedly soon find yourself much busier than usual. However, if you are one of the over 12 million Americans who receive health insurance through the Marketplace, don’t get too busy to obtain coverage before the deadline. This year, the Marketplace open enrollment period, which began November 1, lasts only six weeks and will end on December 15. After this deadline, only those who experience certain “life events” such as marriage or childbirth will be able to take advantage of special enrollment.
If you currently have Marketplace coverage, simply sign into your account at www.healthcare.gov and click “Log in” to renew or adjust your plan. Some people may be automatically re-enrolled, but the only way to make sure you are getting the best policy for your needs and the proper Premium Tax Credit based on your income projections is to sign in and use the tools to renew your coverage.
If you are new to the Marketplace, or if you have questions about the Affordable Care Act, the IRS’s Taxpayer’s Advocate Service has a website with a wealth of information about the health care law. Their site even has a calculator that lets you estimate the penalty you will owe if you decide not to have health insurance next year. You can access the site here.
Likewise, www.healthcare.gov has lots of useful information. By clicking the “Quick Start Guide” button on the homepage, you can see if your income qualifies you for premium tax credits, preview policies, and see estimated prices, all without having to create an account or sign in to an existing one. If you decide you want to pursue Marketplace coverage, click the “Find Local Help” button to get a list of Assisters and Agents in your area who are ready to help you get the coverage you need.
If you decide the Marketplace is the right insurance for you, make sure you apply before December 15. Then, get back to eating and shopping and decorating and enjoying the hustle and bustle of the holidays!