December 15 is an important date to know for two groups of people:
- Uninsured individuals or families not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare
- Individuals or families enrolled in a Marketplace plan
Why is this date so important? Well, it depends which group you fall into.
If you’re uninsured and not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare:
Right now is the time for you to explore your health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). December 15 is the last day to enroll in a plan that will be effective on Jan. 1, 2015. If you miss this deadline, the earliest you can have effective coverage is in February. And after Feb. 15, 2015, you won’t have another opportunity to purchase insurance until next year’s open enrollment period, unless you have a qualifying life event. Even if you’re healthy, there are good reasons why you need to have health insurance – including financial protection. Don’t believe me? Take a look at how much common injuries or dental visits cost without insurance! It’s realities like these that make medial debt the leading cause of personal bankruptcy. Ready to enroll? Here are five tips for buying your health insurance to help you get started.
If you’re currently enrolled in a Marketplace plan:
If you bought a health insurance plan through the Marketplace in 2014, now is the time to renew or change your plan. If you do nothing by December 15, you will be automatically enrolled in the same or a similar plan. While this might be the easiest option, it might not be what’s best for you or your family. For starters, there are new options this year. If you automatically re-enroll, you might miss out on finding a health plan that costs less or offers more services. Shopping around helps you see if there’s a better fit for you or your family. If you receive financial help from the government, it’s even more important that you take action by December 15. The amount of financial help you get will likely have changed, even if your personal income is the same and your family size didn’t change. Make sure you to HealthCare.gov by December 15 to update your information. Ready to enroll? Here are five tips to stay covered to help you get started.