obamacare open enrollment 2016 deadline

A quick overview of everything you need to know about getting coverage, switching plans, and cost assistance during ObamaCare’s 2016 open enrollment period.

  • Open enrollment 2016 starts on Nov 1, 2015 and ends Jan 31, 2016.
  • Starting Nov 1, 2015 individuals and families can begin to enroll in health coverage that starts as early as Jan 1, 2016.
  • In the private individual and family market: open enrollment is the only time of year you can obtain minimum essential health coverage, switch plans, adjust cost assistance, or enroll in a plan with or without cost assistance outside of special enrollment each year.
  • If you don’t get coverage during open enrollment, or an exemption, you could owe the monthly fee for not having coverage in 2016.
  • Plans purchased before the 15th of the month start on the 1st of the next. Plans purchased after the 15th start on the 1st of the next month.
  • As long as you enroll during open enrollment, and/or maintain coverage for at least 10 full months in the calendar year, you’ll automatically qualify for a short coverage gap exemption for the months you miss.
  • The fee for having coverage increased this year and so did cost assistance amounts for many families (as they adjust with the poverty level), so even if you went without coverage last year due to financial reasons you may want to find out your options this year.
  • Even if you have a plan from last year you’ll want to make sure you take part in the renewal process to avoid auto-renewal in states that offer auto-renewal and non-renewal in states that don’t. Don’t assume you are covered, take action before Dec 15, 2015 to avoid headaches in 2016.

1 in 6 Americans got a Marketplace plan for $100 or less in 2015. 87% of people who selected marketplace plans for 2015 got financial assistance. Apply to HealthCare.Gov today and see what kind of cost assistance you qualify for.

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Jerome Panus on

The article below (from Bloomberg) will impact me. It looks like ObamaCare is still, and will continue to be, a mess. Demarcates fumbled the ball from day one and Republicans will make sure the fumble continues. Our politicians from both parties are nothing more than a bunch of $%&@# worthless $%&@#! My motto for 2016, “VOTE NON-INCUMBENT – ITS YOUR POLITICIAN STUPID”. I’m heading to the healthcare sharing ministry for 2016 and beyond. And I’m trying as hard as I can to sell healthcare sharing to all my family and friends. Buy!

Obamacare marketplaces shutting down amid cash crunch – When state health insurance marketplaces were created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Obama administration was worried there wouldn’t be enough competition to keep premiums low. So it loaned $2.4 billion to establish 23 nonprofit health insurers known as consumer operated and oriented plans, or co-ops. Although the co-ops struggled in their first two years, most were still expected to offer plans for 2016 when the marketplaces open for enrollment on Nov. 1.

Turns out, many won’t. Ten co-ops have folded this year after state regulators stopped them from offering plans because of weak balance sheets. Seven have closed just since the end of September, the most recent on Oct. 27. That’s left more than 500,000 people to find new coverage, some in rural areas that now have only a single ACA provider. Co-ops in New York, Oregon, Colorado, and elsewhere are also at risk of defaulting on their federal loans.

Sandi Anderson on

My insurance, Florida Blue, canceled my policy even though I applied, re-enrolled and qualified for health insurance as of January 1, 2016. I cannot get through to Florida Blue (three days of trying) and I will lose my coverage and be without any insurance in January. Hope they will get it resolved in time for February, but I can’t imagine what people who don’t jump through the hoops will end up with. I followed every single instruction, and they screwed me up. What a farce the administration of this program has proven to be.

Judy Paquette on

I cannot finish my application online, the website is having problems and the wait on the phone can be a 1/2 hour or more. So now i’m going to mail my application hopefully it’s not to late. I don’t know what else to do.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

You can get in-person help, online help, and on-phone help. Down at the wire here it can be pretty hard to get immediate assistance, but you should 100% make sure you get as far in the online process as possible. Likely those who make it part way through the enrollment process will get a little extra time. Sending in an application sort of leaves you in limbo. It’s not a bad move, but doing the process online is much more quantifiable. You can also get on the phone with a major insurer and have them sign you up.

Brokers and insurers can help you enroll in Marketplace plans, just make sure you are getting enrolled in a Marketplace plan that qualifies for assistance.