The healthcare open enrollment period ends Jan. 15 for most states, after a 30-day extension was granted to ensure more people got coverage.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, four out of five people will be able to find a plan for $10 or less per month through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace.
Once enrolled, coverage will begin based on the signup date. Those who enroll by Dec. 15 will begin receiving coverage Jan. 1, and those who enroll after Dec. 15 will receive coverage beginning Feb. 1.
Individual states are promoting the open enrollment deadline with their own flair.
In Colorado, a “Get Covered Colorado Day” took place to encourage residents to enroll or to renew, review, or make changes to their current plans.
In a North Carolina town, health insurance navigators offered free assistance for residents to explore their coverage options in the marketplace.
Certified navigators at the event encouraged those who haven’t reviewed their plans yet to do so soon, because there may be more options available for them in 2022.
The ACA Marketplace exists to provide health insurance for those who don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, or who are not covered through their job.
Private insurance companies offer ACA plans at various levels of coverage, with federal subsidies available based on household income estimates.
The Marketplace website offers assistance to those who need help applying by providing the option to find local agents, brokers, or navigators, or the option to get contacted by a local agent or broker.
Assistance through the website is Marketplace-certified.
Health insurance navigators or providers who are looking to connect with those who need assistance might consider hosting an enrollment event, or use aged insurance leads to find those who may not be aware of the help available to them.
Aged health insurance leads are around 30 to 90 or more days old, and allow insurance agents to connect with those who need more assistance navigating the marketplace.
Self-employed individuals can face extra challenges when applying, according to the Marketplace, because it can be difficult to accurately estimate income and find the right coverage.
As the deadline approaches, those who may have been putting off their applications or are unaware of the changes may lose out on savings they didn’t know were available.
Those seeking help from an agent or navigator should be prepared to supply the assister with all applicable documentation, including Social Security Number, income information, and Marketplace account information.