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How you could still be eligible for ACA-compliant health insurance and – if you aren’t – how you can stay insured until November

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Obamacare’s special enrollment period (SEP) ended in April. For many Americans, the SEP was the last opportunity to enroll in an ACA-compliant health plan for 2015. (Open enrollment for 2016 coverage – coverage that will be effective January 1, 2016 – begins on November 1, 2015.)

Can you still get coverage?

Many Americans are convinced that until November, affordable health insurance – and ACA-compliant coverage – is out of reach.

In truth, even if you still haven’t enrolled in a medical insurance plan for 2015, you may be able to buy an ACA-compliant major medical policy right now if you’ve had a qualifying event – a major life change that makes you eligible for a special enrollment period. By purchasing coverage, you can avoid or minimize an Obamacare penalty.

(For more specifics, read our guide to qualifying events, or call 1-866-414-0201 to discuss your specific situation with an expert.)

Even if you’re not eligible for a special enrollment period, you don’t have to wait for coverage until November (and we strongly advise that you don’t).

This site can help you understand coverage options like short-term health plans. (A short-term policy can be considerably less expensive than a qualified health plan – and you can often get coverage within a day.)

Why you should pick up the phone

Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) we usually recommended people simply shop online. But today, with the complexities of premium subsidies, cost sharing subsidies, penalties – and now qualifying events and special enrollment periods – it’s a smart move to talk to a licensed insurance agent who can help minimize your cost and maximize your benefits.

At healthinsurance.org, we don’t sell insurance, but we do partner with qualified call centers staffed with agents who are both licensed in your state and exchange certified. Visit your state page to find the telephone number for medical insurance professionals who can offer you free guidance, or call the general number at 1-866-414-0201.

These partnerships also allow us to deliver health insurance quotes quickly and easily. Simply enter your ZIP code to receive a family health insurance quote that will help pinpoint coverage that fits your needs.

Affordable, comprehensive health insurance

Since last year, an estimated 9.4 million Americans have enrolled in health insurance exchange – or marketplace – plans (and have paid their premiums). At the same time, Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion has helped boost the number of new Medicaid enrollees to more than 7 million. What’s more, millions more Americans have enrolled in private ACA-compliant plans outside the exchanges – or off exchange.

The health law’s critics continue to charge that Obamacare is driving up individual health insurance premiums and causing plan cancellations. But there’s plenty of evidence that for the first time, the law has allowed millions of Americans to find affordable medical insurance – thanks in part to generous subsidies – without fear of being excluded due to pre-existing conditions.

About us: your guide to family health insurance

Since 1994, healthinsurance.org has been a guide for consumers seeking straightforward explanations about the workings of individual health insurance – also known as medical insurance – and help finding affordable coverage.

The topic of insurance can be confusing, but we’re here with more information than ever: educational articles, expert health policy analysisfrequently asked questions about reform, a health insurance glossary, and guides to the healthcare marketplaces and other insurance resources in each state.

Don’t hesitate to let us know if you hit a snag in the process – or if you’re stumped by a question about health coverage. Of course, we’d also love to hear about your success in getting coverage and quality healthcare.