Open Enrollment for health insurance began on November 7, and will end on January 31, 2018. So, you still have plenty of time to make changes to your current healthcare plan (or finally enroll in one), but with the holidays looming we’re all getting busy. You might be wondering what will happen if you procrastinate or forget to take action during Open Enrollment.
If you currently have a health insurance plan… You will be automatically re-enrolled in that same plan, if you don’t make a decision otherwise. That could be convenient, but since your premiums will likely change, you would be wise to comparison shop before the deadline.
If you currently receive a subsidy to aid with the cost of your premiums, you need to update your income information so that your subsidy can be calculated correctly.
If you don’t have health insurance at all… For now, the Individual Mandate part of the Affordable Care Act does stand. If you fail to carry health insurance, you might face a penalty on your 2018 tax return, in the amount of 695 dollars per uncovered adult or 2.5 percent of household income (whichever is higher). Yes, some of the tax plans set currently set forth in Congress seek to do away with that penalty, but those bills have not passed at this time.
If you change your mind… Let’s say, for some reason, that you choose not to enroll in health insurance at this time. If you change your mind after January 31, you can’t enroll in a policy until Open Enrollment next November (and the plan wouldn’t take effect until January 1, 2019).
There are some exceptions to this rule, called Qualifying Life Events. If your household adds a member (a new child), if you get married or divorced, or if your income changes, you might be eligible to enroll in health insurance outside of the Open Enrollment period. There are a few other, less common, qualifying life events as well. You can always contact us throughout the year to inquire about your situation, but there are no guarantees. If you want health insurance in 2018, your best bet is to sign up now.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are a Medicare recipient, your Annual Enrollment Period has already ended and if you feel that you need to make changes, contact us directly for assistance. We’ll do our best to help you.