It’s that time of year again; Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment for 2019 is coming up fast. You’ll have from November 1, 2018 through December 15, 2018 in most states, with coverage beginning January 1, 2019.
You have several ways of getting health insurance if you don’t have coverage through your employer. You can purchase a plan through the ACA, either through your state marketplace or, Healthcare.gov. The Healthcare.gov site can also point you to your state’s marketplace site if it has one.
If you don’t qualify for Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) tax credits, you will probably save money by purchasing a plan directly, either through a health insurance provider, from an agent or through EINSURANCE, which provides health insurance quotes from a variety of carriers.
If You Have Health Insurance Through Your Job
If your employer offers health insurance, you can still choose to buy a plan through the ACA Marketplace instead. However, in such a case you will probably have to pay full price if the employer’s insurance doesn’t meet ACA standards, even if your income is low. Most job-based plans do meet those standards. Find out more here.
Obamacare Open Enrollment 2019 Differs in Some States
While most states recognize open enrollment as starting November 1, 2018 and continuing through December 15, 2018, a few states’ enrollment periods differs:
California: October 15, 2018 – January 15, 2019
Colorado: November 1, 2018 – January 15, 2019
District of Columbia: November 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019
Massachusetts: November 1, 2018 – January 23, 2019
Minnesota: November 1, 2018 – January 13, 2019
New York: November 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019
Rhode Island: November 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019
Before You Apply Obamacare Open Enrollment 2019
If you want to apply for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace or your state’s health insurance exchange, you’ll need to have some information on hand, even if you are re-enrolling.
Be prepared with the following information:
- How many people are in your household? If you need help figuring out who qualifies in your household go here.
- Information about everyone in your household including:
- Home or mailing addresses
- Birth Dates and Social Security Numbers
- Income and employer information such as W-2 forms or pay stubs. You can get help to learn more here.
- How do you file your taxes?
- What is your estimated household income for 2019? For help estimating go here.
- What are the policy numbers for current coverage plans for members of your household?
- What are the employment-based plans you or in your household are eligible for? You’ll need this information even if you aren’t accepting coverage through your job. Complete this Employer Coverage form.
- If you have one, what is your current Health Insurance Marketplace plan and ID?
- Is a professional helping you apply? Go here for more information.
- Are you a legal immigrant? Find out what you need to know here.
What to Do If You Have 2018 Marketplace Coverage
If you are applying for healthcare insurance 2019 AND have Marketplace coverage for 2018, review and update your application for any changes in information such as income or household details. You’ll be able to access your application starting November 1st.
If you do nothing, you will automatically be rolled over into the same plan for 2019.
How to Apply for Coverage During Open Enrollment 2019
You can apply for health coverage through an exchange several ways.
If you are new to the Marketplace you’ll need to create an account. If your state has its own exchange you’ll be directed to the right website.
2. By phone:
Call 1-800-318-2596 or find the Marketplace in your state and call the number provided.
3. Get in-person help from a counselor:
Find out where to get in-person help in your area.
4. Contact an agent or broker:
Apply through an agent or broker. Get help finding one here.
5. Fill out a paper application:
Download an application to print out and fill in, then mail it to the address provided, whether it’s the national Exchange or your state’s Marketplace.
What to Do if You Miss Obamacare Open Enrollment 2019
If you miss Open Enrollment 2019 you might be able to receive an extension through the Special Enrollment Period (SEP). To qualify for SEP you must have experienced certain life event. Typically, with SEP you have up to 60 days following the special event to apply.
Qualifying events include:
- Loss of health coverage
- Getting married
- Having a baby
- Adopting a child
If you want to enroll in Obamacare open enrollment easily and save money, use our free online quote service to help you compare multiple quotes from top insurers.