The open enrollment period for those needing to sign up for individual or family health insurance for 2021 under the federal health insurance law closes tonight at midnight, Dec. 15. During the years since the “Affordable Care Act” was implemented, many people have struggled to understand exactly what options are actually available. Depending on several factors, you may have more options than you’ve heard.
Much has been said about coverage of pre-existing health issues, which are covered without question in the plans under the federal law. If you or someone you care for has health issues and doesn’t yet have a plan in place, I urge you to contact a trusted health insurance agent today, to find the best option available for you before enrollment closes. Federal income guidelines may provide for tax credits or subsidies for those who don’t have
coverage available through their work or qualify for other government programs.
There are many people who do have more time, and more options, though. Those who have lost coverage within the past 60 days, other than through just not paying their premiums, may be eligible for a special enrollment period outside of the open enrollment if you move quickly enough.
Business owners may prefer to set up a plan through their business, which can offer many advantages, even for small businesses enrolling as few as two members.
Healthy people can now choose short term medical coverage, which, like regular health insurance in the past, excludes any prior health problems, but works fine, at a much lower cost, for many people who just need coverage for what might happen.
Christian health sharing coops also allow enrollment any time, for healthy people.
Individuals turning 65 soon have a 7-month window around that special birthday to enroll in various options available with Medicare. You’ll want to seek advice from a trusted professional agent, to determine your best option. The annual enrollment period that ended Dec. 7 was the time during which seniors can change from a Medicare Advantage plan to a Medicare supplement or the reverse, but many are unaware we may be able to change from one Medicare supplement to another at the beginning of any month, subject to health issues.
Those under 65 who have health issues, and don’t have other coverage, still have just a few hours to research and apply for the plan they’ll want to be able to live with for 2021. A professional agent can help you determine which available plans may be best for you.
– Nola Wood | 2015-16 President, Greater KC Assoc. of Health Underwriters