Consumer Alert - Open Enrollment
Open enrollment is ongoing through January 31. Commissioner
Miller is encouraging consumers who haven’t yet enrolled in a 2017 health plan
through the federal marketplace to do so at www.Healthcare.gov.
Though the first month of the year is nearly gone, you can
still enroll in a health insurance plan for 2017. Plans purchased up until the
enrollment deadline will take effect on March 1.
Although there is a penalty for not having ACA-compliant
health insurance, if your coverage lapses for only one or two months, you will
not incur the penalty. As long as you enroll in a plan by January 31, you will
not pay a penalty for being uninsured. If you buy directly from an insurance
company or agent, or through a website other than www.healthcare.gov, make sure
that the coverage is ACA-compliant.
Plans that are sold as limited benefit or term health insurance policies
are not ACA-compliant.
Additionally, plans available through the federal
marketplace provide access to preventive services at no additional cost.
Financial assistance is only available for plans purchased on www.Healthcare.gov,
however in some areas, off-exchange plans may be less expensive for those who
do not qualify for subsidies. Again, be aware that some off-exchange
plans are not ACA-compliant and will trigger a tax penalty.
developed a plan comparison tool with Consumers’ Checkbook that allows
consumers to compare estimated yearly out-of-pocket costs, overall quality of
plans, and doctor and prescription drug availability.The
Insurance Department also has a printable shopper’s guide and
videos in English and Spanish for consumers looking for additional
information on how to purchase health insurance. In-person help is also
available through licensed insurance agents and health
have enrolled in a plan, make sure to pay your first month’s premium, as this
will initiate your coverage. Once your payment is received and your coverage is
active, you can start going to health care provider, picking up
prescriptions, and know that your healthcare is covered.
information on health insurance or to contact the Insurance Department’s Bureau
of Consumer Services, visit our health page
or call 1-877-881-6388.