With ObamaCare deadlines for open enrollment approaching, it’s important to think about health insurance policy periods. Here are some key facts to help you understand why getting covered during open enrollment isn’t just about avoiding the fee, it’s about value.
- Your health insurance deductible (the amount you have to pay for covered in-network services before coinsurance kicks in) and out-of-pocket maximums (the amount you have to pay for covered in-network services before your insurer pays 100%) are based on policy periods.
- Policy periods are typically annual.
- Most marketplace plans go from January 1st to December 31st. This is true even if you enroll in a plan later in the year.
- If your plan starts late, then you may not get a full value out of your deductible and out-of-pocket maximums. As the amount you paid in is only applicable to that policy period!
Bottom line: Under the ACA you have every incentive to fall into the rhythm of making sure your plan is chosen and cost assistance information is in order by December 15th (the 23rd in some states). Failing to update your info can cost you money on your taxes, failing to pick the right plan means you may under-buy or over-buy accidentally, and waiting until the last minute means not getting the full value out of your plan.
Do yourself a favor and go to HealthCare.Gov now and get your health insurance in order for the New Year.