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Getting health insurance is one of the first – and best – steps toward achieving good health. However, 1 in 10 people still don’t have health coverage and Latinos are still the nation’s largest uninsured population.
Now that Open Enrollment for 2018 is currently underway what are some important facts that everyone needs to know?
Cost and Financial Aid
First, cost is one of the most common reasons people have given for not obtaining health coverage.
Most insurance companies taking part in the Marketplace have raised premiums for 2018. However, all marketplaces, including the federal Healthcare Marketplace, offer wide-ranges of health plans including more low-cost options than ever for subsidized consumers.
As it has been since the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), financial assistance is also available to eligible marketplace consumers and low- and middle-income shoppers can receive premium tax credits to lower their monthly payments.
In fact, according to research from the Center for American Progress, some subsidized consumers can find free marketplace plans with premiums and tax credits for marketplace coverage depending on an enrollee’s location, age, and family income.
Also, those eligible for cost-sharing assistance have access to plans that offer reduced deductibles and lower “other” out-of-pocket costs.
Enrollment Deadlines Actually Vary by State
While the national deadline for most Americans is Dec. 15, 2017, in order to obtain coverage in time for Jan. 1, 2018, eight states and the District of Columbia have extended their application deadlines.
- California – Jan. 31, 2018
- Colorado – Jan. 12, 2018
- Connecticut – Dec. 22, 2017
- Massachusetts – Jan. 23, 2018
- Minnesota – Jan. 14, 2018
- New York – Jan. 31, 2018
- Rhode Island – Dec. 31, 2017
- Washington – Jan. 15, 2018
- Washington, DC – Jan. 31, 2018
If you are already enrolled in a Marketplace plan and you do nothing by the national deadline or when the deadline in your state passes, you will automatically be reenrolled in your existing plan. For those whose plans no longer exist, they will be automatically enrolled in a similar plan.
Lastly, as it currently stands, the ACA requires nearly everyone American to have health insurance. Exemptions include those who have applied for an economic hardship (if you have filed for bankruptcy in the past 12 months, for example).
You can read more about exemptions here.
For those who do not qualify for an exemption, a penalty will be assessed beginning with the 2018 tax-filing season and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will not process tax returns that do not disclose whether or not the filer has health insurance coverage or an exemption.
Learn more about the importance of health insurance here: