Now that open enrollment is over for individuals to purchase health insurance, what happens next? Either you have decided to pay a tax of $95.00/person (or 1% of your income), or you have health insurance. Congratulations to those of you that now have health insurance, or have at least applied for health insurance by March 31st. The only way an individual will be able to buy health insurance for the rest of 2014 will be by special enrollment. That means the only way you will buy a policy will be due to the following circumstances, available at www.healthcare.gov:
- Getting married;
- Having, adopting, or placement of a child;
- Permanently moving to a new area that offers different health plan options;
- Losing other health coverage (for example: due to a job loss, divorce, loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, expiration of COBRA coverage, or a health plan being decertified). Note: Voluntarily quitting other health coverage or being terminated for not paying your premiums are not considered loss of coverage.
- For people already enrolled in Marketplace coverage, having a change in income or household status that affects eligibility for tax credits or cost-sharing reductions
A business can start health insurance anytime throughout the year. Coverage is guaranteed, and the underwriting is simpler than ever, especially for groups under 50 employees. Small Business Tax Credits for offering health insurance are available to businesses with less than 25 employees. Employees are searching for employers that offer group health insurance now more than ever, due to the individual requirement to have health insurance.
A health insurance agent who is knowledgeable about your needs will be a huge benefit throughout the year. An agent doesn’t charge any extra premium and provides continual help throughout the year. Even if you signed up for health insurance without an agent, please consider using one throughout the year to help with your questions, claims, issues and choices. You can assign an agent to your policy at any time throughout the year.
If you need an insurance advisor who is an expert in health insurance and ACA certified, please contact me at (318) 445-9359.