4/2/14 – This just in…
Covered California has extended the deadline for applications through a Certified Agent or other certified individuals until 4/15/14. See our Covered CA blog post for more info.
Some individual health plans have extended their deadlines for enrollment as well. If you haven’t applied yet, don’t give up! Contact us at (800) 939-8088, Ext. 202.
If you are still evaluating your health plan options for 2014, or if you haven’t started yet, you need to be aware of the Open Enrollment deadline that is fast approaching.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individuals and families can only purchase a new health plan during an annual Open Enrollment Period. This year, the Open Enrollment period ends on March 31st 2014. If you need to enroll in a new health plan you must do so before the Open Enrollment deadline. After March 31st you will only be able to enroll if you experience a “qualifying event” as defined under the law. For information on qualifying events, call RealCare at (800) 939-8088, Ext. 202.
The ACA also changed application deadlines and effective dates for individual and family plans and exchange (Covered CA) plans. Under the new guidelines, applications received on or before the 15th of the month will be processed for a 1st of the following month effective date. Applications received after the 15th of the month will be processed for the first of the month following the next month. Here are the current date guidelines for the current Open Enrollment:
Effective Date Application Deadline
It is important to remember that no applications will be accepted AFTER 3/31/14 unless an individual has experienced a HIPAA Qualifying Event. This may include:
- Loss of employer based coverage
- Loss of eligibility for a health plan due to a move out of the plan service area
- Loss of “no share of cost Medi-Cal”
- Acquisition of a new dependent through birth, adoption, marriage, or legally documented change in custody
- Loss of employer based coverage for a child who ages off of the plan
- Divorce or legal separation; termination of domestic partnership
The ACA requires you to obtain qualifying health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty or tax for not having coverage. However, the potential tax penalty is not the most important reason to obtain health insurance. The MOST important reason to have health insurance is to protect your own health and financial status. Medical care is extremely expensive and most Americans can’t afford a catastrophic medical loss.
Don’t delay your enrollment! As we edge closer to the March 31st deadline, the enrollment process will become more difficult because more people will be applying at once. Apply earlier and beat the rush… avoid further frustration.
You can visit our Individual and Family Health Plan Quote Page to get rate/benefit information on the plans available in your area. Better yet, give us a call to evaluation your options. (800) 939-8088, Ext. 202