The annual open enrollment period is a time for people who buy individual health plans — as opposed to getting insurance through an employer — to review coverage and select a plan. The deadline to enroll for 2020 is Sunday, Dec. 15.
If you miss the enrollment period, you may not be able to sign up again until the following fall. Special enrollment periods outside open enrollment are only available to people who experience “life events” such as marriage, birth, a job change or relocation.
People eligible for Medicaid can sign up at any time during the year.
Shopping for health insurance can seem daunting, but enrollment specialists say it’s worth checking out your options — insurance may be more affordable than you think, if you’re eligible for an income-based tax credit.
With enrollment season in full swing, its important to be wary of scammers trying to take advantage of people looking for a deal on insurance.
The Trump administration has made it easier for private, third-party websites to enroll people in healthcare.gov plans and qualify them for income-based tax credits. But these websites may also sell other types of insurance, such as short-term limited-duration and indemnity plans, which will offer far less coverage for a cheaper price.
If you want to be sure you’re buying comprehensive major medical insurance, stick to the official ACA marketplace website, healthcare.gov. Make sure any plan you buy covers pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits (things like primary care, mental health and prescription drugs), and does not have a cap on plan spending.
Need more help? Pennsylvania Health Access Network, an organization that receives public funding to assist consumers with the enrollment process, can help review your options. Find others who can help through healthcare.gov.