December 15 was the last day to sign up to enroll in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act to receive coverage as soon as January 1, 2023. If you missed this deadline, don’t worry. You can still sign up for health insurance; you simply won’t get coverage for the entire year. If you apply by January 15 and pay your premium, your coverage begins February 1, 2023.
Also known as Obamacare, it is designed to give more Americans access to lower-cost health insurance and also expands Medicaid, as well as supporting new methods of health care delivery, such as ACA Health Homes. What August 2more than 35 million Americans are enrolled in the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace.
Read on to find out if you qualify for ACA coverage, how to sign up, and when the deadlines are.
For more health care tipslearn about theand find out how you can save money on medical bills .
When is the deadline to enroll in a health care plan with the Affordable Care Act Marketplace?
Time Open registration continues through January 15, you must enroll by December 15 to receive full coverage beginning January 1, 2023. If you enrolled in a health plan from December 16 to January 15 and paid your premium, your Coverage will begin on February 1.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for special registration outside of those dates. Here’s how you can qualify:
You had a life-changing event in the last 60 days: Events include the loss of health coverage, a change in household income, having a baby, getting married, getting divorced, moving to a new ZIP code, or if someone on your Marketplace plan dies.
Please note that if you have moved to a new ZIP code, you must show that you had insurance for at least one day in the last 60 days, or you will lose coverage in the next 60 days. Also, if you’ve lost your job and decide not to accept COBRA (Omnibus Consolidated Budget Reconciliation Act) coverage, you can still enroll in a Marketplace plan.
You are applying for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): If you’re applying for any of these programs, you can apply for health insurance through the Marketplace at any time.
Other life circumstances that could qualify you:
- you’re getting out of prison
- You just became a US citizen
- You are starting or ending the service in AmeriCorps
- Gained membership in a state or federally recognized tribe as a shareholder in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Corporation (ANCSA)
To see if you qualify for special enrollment, follow the steps above in health care.gov/screener/. If you are eligible, your health care plan would start on the first day of the month after you enroll. For example, if you enroll in August, your coverage will begin on September 1.
What health insurance plans are available under the Affordable Care Act?
Assuming you qualify for the Affordable Care Act (see below), the state you live in determines which health care providers you can use. For each plan, you should see Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum options. Here’s a breakdown of how each plan works.
Bronze: You’ll pay the lowest monthly premium, but you’ll pay more when it comes to paying for care. The Bronze plan’s deductible is generally much higher than the other options, so you’ll pay more out-of-pocket until you meet your deductible.
Silver: This intermediate coverage comes with a moderate monthly premium. It will cost you more than the Bronze option, but your medical treatment costs will be less than if you opted for the Bronze plan.
Prayed: This plan includes a high monthly premium and low costs when you need care. A low deductible means the amount of out-of-pocket medical costs will be much less than with the Bronze and Silver plans.
Platinum: The highest monthly premium gives you the lowest costs when it comes to health care. Since the deductible is very low, your plan will start paying your medical costs before any of the other options.
Deciding which plan to choose depends on your lifestyle, how often you’ll need medical care, and what type of medical treatment you need. For example, if you’re in good health and only expect to need to use your insurance for emergencies, you might choose the Bronze or Silver plan. If you are currently receiving treatment or expect to need regular medical care, the Gold and Platinum options may be the best option for you.
Note: Premiums are based on income levels, so if you earn less, your premium may be lower.
How do I know if I qualify for an Affordable Care Act plan?
Before you start thinking about which plan to choose, you should first find out if you really qualify for a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Go to health care.gov/screener and enter your zip code.
Next, you’ll answer a few questions to see if you qualify for discounted or full-price coverage. Once you get a response, your next step is to fill out an application on the Health Insurance Marketplace or your state’s own marketplace to see plans and prices.
How to enroll in Obamacare
Once you are ready to enroll, either between November 1 and January 15 or through special enrollment, you will need to create an account at HealthCare.gov or through your state provider. You’ll then complete the application to view plans and pricing and select the best option for you.
Things you may need while applying:
- for everyone in your app
- Employer and income information for all members of your household
- Current health insurance policy numbers (if applicable)
- Information about the health insurance available from your employer
- immigration documentation
Once again, after you enroll, your plan must start on the first day of the month following your enrollment date, assuming you’ve paid your first month’s premium.
Look out for your insurance card in the mail after you enroll, as well as any other information about the health care plan you chose.
For more information about health carefind out if your insuranceand how to check the health of your heart .
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.