Thinking Of Changing Health Insurance Companies? Then This Article Is Just For You
Mary is one of those strong independent women that will not settle for less. She is always looking for the best options and competitive prices.
That is why Mary is already thinking of getting a new Health Insurance plan for 2017.
While most Americans (42%-48%) get their insurance policies through their jobs, Mary buys her insurance through the Health Marketplace. That leaves Mary unable to change her current policy outside Open Enrollment, unless she qualifies for a Special Enrollment Period
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
When changing your plan outside of the Open Enrollment (and not because you changing jobs) you must log in your Marketplace account and report a life change.
And we are not talking about that new and “exciting” juicer you bought this month. That will not do the trick.
However, the following events might do:
- You have recently lost your coverage because of a divorce or separation
- You have lost your spouse (and you were covered by their policy)
- You have lost your dependent status
- You got married (Good luck)
- You have a new child (either adopted or by birth)
- You experienced a change in your household income
Let’s say Mary wants to cancel her coverage and get rid of the premiums she would have to pay for the 2 months before the Open Enrollment begins. Would she be able to drop her coverage without owing the fee for not having insurance?
Well, technically she would be getting a new insurance plan in November, so she would not spend more than 3 months without insurance right?
That is a no; Mary would still have to pay the fee for not having insurance since her coverage would actually begin on January 1, 2017 (if she manages to enroll between November 1 and December 15).
If Mary enrolls between December 16, and January 15, her coverage will start in February 1. And if she signs up between January 16 and January 31, her coverage will begin March 1.
Your best bet
So what is left? Well, the best choice for Mary and you, is to wait until the next Marketplace Open Enrollment (November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017). There, you will be able to review your different option when it comes to insurance companies. Keep in mind every plan must cover the same essential benefits, so focus on prices and network benefits when reviewing your options.
Also keep in mind there are 3 timeframes when enrolling in the Marketplace. Enrolling late means your coverage will start later.