Health Insurance Open Enrollment Doesn’t Have to Be Painful: Get Some Help!

Each year you’re required to take some action in terms of your health insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA  –  or also called Obamacare), you are obligated to renew your policy or to change plans. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll be signing up for the first time.

The Open Enrollment Period is quickly approaching and you need to be up to date on the latest for 2018.

Whether you’re a newbie who needs coverage for the first time, you need to update your policy, or even if you want to keep what you have, you’re in the right place!

Your health is important and you need correct information from a trusted health insurance advisor to help you navigate the purchasing process. It’s the best way to ensure your new policy meets your needs and fits your budget  –  and that you’re not overpaying.

Your first time enrolling in Marketplace health insurance

Don’t be a one-man-show when you’re enrolling for the first time. There’s a lot of confusing information that you’re probably not equipped to deal with on your own. Seek the help of an expert to guide you through the complicated details of health insurance policies.

But you need someone you can trust. With an expert coming alongside you throughout the whole process  –  from beginning to end  –  taking you through all of your options and clarifying difficult concepts and complex policy language in a way you can understand, you’ll be able to purchase a policy with confidence.

Your questions are valuable. Keep asking them until you’re confident that you have all the facts you need to make a well-informed choice about topics like:

  • Individual plans.
  • Family plans.
  • Dental coverage.
  • Prescription drug coverage.
  • Vision coverage.
  • High-deductible health insurance plans.
  • Short-term healthcare.
  • Low-priced health insurance plans.
  • Premiums.
  • Bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans.
  • And more!

Anytime you have a question about your policy or a claim, you can give your independent insurance expert a call.

You deserve consistent, high-quality service. And by working with an independent advisor, you’ll be able to speak to the same person each time you call  –  because building relationships is important to your local team. And it’s also the best way to ensure your and your family’s needs are being met.

Evaluating and updating your coverage

The Open Enrollment Period is shorter this year than in years past, so make sure you don’t let it roll on by without taking any action!

You need to review your health insurance coverage, because:

  • Carriers often make changes to their policies from year to year. That could work in your favor if you’re able to get more coverage for the same cost you’ve been paying.
  • It’s possible that your health insurance needs have shifted over the preceding year. Less coverage or more coverage may be appropriate.
  • You could be overpaying for your health insurance.

Before you make a change on your own, consult a professional who can help you reassess your unique situation.

Remember: Open Enrollment is from November 1, 2017, and runs through December 15, 2017. Now’s the perfect time to schedule a free no-obligation quote so you can be confident about the policy choices you’re making.

Open enrollment facts

Here’s what you can do during the health insurance open enrollment period:

  • Apply for coverage for the first time.
  • Switch from your current plan to a new plan.
  • Renew your plan. Keep in mind that you will be automatically re-enrolled in your current plan if you don’t take any action.
  • Apply for the 2018 tax credit.

When you purchase your health insurance plan during the Open Enrollment Period, your coverage will start on January 1, 2018.

Are you eligible for special enrollment?

That depends. Certain life events qualify you to purchase health insurance at any time of the year.

Some qualifying events are:

  • A change in marital status such as getting married, losing a spouse or a divorce.
  • Job loss.
  • Giving birth to or adopting a child.

Open enrollment penalties

Obtaining health insurance is a requirement. If you don’t secure a plan during open enrollment and you don’t qualify for the special enrollment period, you could face a tax penalty.

These are the penalties you’d be looking at in 2018:

  • For a family: $2,085 or 2.5% of your income, whichever is higher. The maximum penalty is $13,000.
  • For a single person: $695 or 2.5% of your income, whichever is higher. The maximum penalty is $13,100.

This is why it’s so important for you to purchase your insurance during the Open Enrollment Period. If you simply can’t purchase during this period or you miss the deadline, it may be time to consider other options such as:

  • Short-term health insurance.
  • Employer-provided coverage.
  • CHIP.
  • Medicaid.

Getting financial help

It’s possible that you qualify for financial assistance through health insurance tax credits. A tax credit is the amount of money you can subtract from the taxes you owe to the government.

A knowledgeable advisor can help you determine if you qualify or not. Your eligibility will be determined by your family size and household income.

Do you need to enroll?

Amidst all the talk of the Open Enrollment Period, you may be wondering if you’re among the Americans who need to enroll.

Here’s a rundown of who should be signing up for health insurance during the OEP:

  • You don’t have insurance through your employer and you don’t have access to a plan through your spouse’s, either.
  • You don’t have government coverage, like Medicaid.
  • You’re age 26 or older and you’re no longer eligible to be covered by your parents’ insurance.
  • Your preferred doctor or other providers aren’t in the network you’re in.
  • Your plan no longer meets your health insurance needs.
  • Your employer-provided coverage doesn’t meet the Affordable Care Act guidelines.
  • Your personal budget changes.

Ways to enroll in health insurance

Once you’ve worked with an expert to find the health insurance policy that’s best for your situation and your budget, you’re ready to tackle the actual enrollment process.

You have three options:

  1. By phone. You can talk to the independent health insurance experts at Washington Enterprises. Just call 1-877-604-0250. We’re happy to guide you through the process, one step at a time, with personal care. You have the option to talk with a government agent, though don’t plan on talking to the same one twice!
  2. By mail. You can download the application, fill it out and stick it in the mail.
  3. Online. You can sign-up for Marketplace insurance on your own online, though you’ll be missing out on the expert advice that could save you time and money.

It’s time to get started

You’ve been given the information you need to make wise choices during the current Open Enrollment Period (Nov. 1, 2017-Dec. 15, 2017).

Making smart choices about your healthcare is only a phone call away.

Give us a call today and let us put our extensive knowledge and solid reputation to work for you to ensure that you purchase the right-fit policy for your needs at an affordable price.

Which category are you in: a newbie, already-covered-but-reevaluating, or changing plans?

Protect Young Family

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