In most states, you only had until yesterday, 12/15, to research and buy a new health insurance plan with an effective date of January 1, 2015. But some states have extended that deadline giving procrastinators a little more time.
Our advice? Don’t just let the plan you selected last year automatically renew as it could end up costing you. Most states have new health insurance companies competing in the exchanges and new health plans to choose from. That plan you chose last year might have a huge price increase, making it less attractive than when you first chose it.
If you didn’t hit the deadline, you’re still okay. You still have until February 15 to change plans, your new plan will just have a later start date. Why wait? Shop between now and January 15 to get a new plan that will go into effect February 1.
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 the rest, its 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 1-800-413-6410.
Health insurance for 2015
Since last year an estimated 7.1 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.
Affordable, comprehensive health insurance
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.
Now, millions of Americans are seeking coverage during open enrollment (November 15 through February 15). Many are enrolling for the first time, but it’s also time for many to re-enroll in ACA-compliant plans. They will be relieved to find out that in most cases, exchanges have made significant improvements.
Free eBook about open enrollment
If you’re ready to enroll, but not sure where to start, check out our new guide to open enrollment, available now as a free download. Written by health insurance expert Louise Norris, it’s filled with step-by-step instructions for hassle-free enrollment – or re-enrollment – in the exchanges or off exchange.
We wouldn’t call it cheap health insurance, but our free eBook does have tips for selecting plans that will give you the most coverage with the least drain on your pocketbook. (Health insurance premiums are important, but not the only factor to consider.) You can also read about strategies that will speed up your enrollment.
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.
About us: your guide to navigating 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 analysis, frequently asked questions about reform, a health insurance glossary, and guides to the healthcare marketplaces and other insurance resources in each state.
Coverage tailored to your needs
We’re also here to help you find coverage. Though healthinsurance.org does not sell health insurance, we partner with more than a half dozen other partners who do. That allows us to help you get 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.