Open enrollment is the limited period of time that those without healthcare coverage can apply for it. It is the only time of year that you can apply for cost assistance, switch plans, or enroll in a major medical plan that counts as minimum essential coverage in the individual and family market without qualifying for a special enrollment period.
To be eligible to enroll in a health coverage plan through the marketplace, you must meet the following 3 criteria:
- Must live in the United States
- Must be a U.S. Citizen, National or be Lawfully Present
- Can't be incarcerated
1. The Marketplace is for people without coverage. If you already have health insurance coverage through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying coverage, you do not need to apply for a plan in the Marketplace.
2. Insurance premiums depend on your income. Your savings will depend on your estimated income for 2016. Based on the income estimate you provide on your application, you could be eligible for a premium tax credit that will lower your monthly insurance bill. Some people can also save on out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and co-pays.
3. If you don't have health insurance, you may have to pay a fee. Most people must have a qualifying health coverage plan or they will have to pay a fee with their 2016 federal taxes. If you don't have coverage in 2016, you'll have to pay either 2.5% of your income or $695 per adult, whichever is higher. In some cases, you might qualify for exemption, but talk to a Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent today to make sure you don't have to pay the penalty.
4. Apply now. Enroll by December 15 for your coverage to start January 1, 2016. After January 31, 2016 you won't be able to buy a health insurance plan unless you have a life change, such as having a baby or getting married, etc, that qualifies you for a special enrollment period.
If you don't enroll in a 2016 health insurance plan by January 31 2016, you won't be able to enroll unless you qualify for a special enrollment period. Make sure you don't have to pay a penalty by considering your Lake of the Ozarks health insurance options today! Insure the Lake is here to help you with all of your insurance needs, health to auto to home, personal to business. Give us a call at 573-348-2794 to get started!
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About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.
Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral