The deadline to sign up for Obamacare for coverage
Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act to get coverage starting January 1, 2023. Also known as Obamacare, it is designed to give more Americans access to less expensive health insurance, expand Medicaid, and support new medical delivery methods, such as ACA Health Homes.
As of August 2, more than 35 million Americans are enrolled in the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace. But you’ll need to act quickly if you want to sign up for full coverage from early 2023.
Read on to find out if you qualify for coverage under the ACA, how to enroll, and when the deadlines are.
For more healthcare tips, learn about the best telehealth services and find out how to save money on medical bills when you don’t have insurance.
When is the deadline to sign up for a care plan with the Affordable Care Act marketplace?
While open enrollment continues until January 15, you must sign up before December 15 to receive full coverage as early as January 1, 2023.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for special enrollment outside of those dates. You can qualify as follows:
You had a life-changing event in the last 60 days: Losing health insurance, changing household income, having a baby, getting married, divorced, moving to a new zip code, or if someone on your Marketplace subscription is deceased.
Please note that if you have moved to a new zip code, you will need to provide proof that you were insured for at least one day during the last 60 days, or you will lose coverage for the next 60 days. Even if you lose your job and decide not to accept Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage, you can still enroll in a Marketplace subscription.
You apply for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): If you sign up for one of these programs, you can apply for health insurance at any time through Marktplaats.
Other living conditions that may qualify for you:
- You’re out of prison.
- You just became a US citizen.
- You start or end duty in AmeriCorps.
- You have joined a federally recognized tribe or have Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder status.
Follow the steps above at healthcare.gov/screener/ to see if you qualify for special enrollment. Your health plan will begin on the first month after you enroll if you qualify. For example, if you enroll in August, your coverage will begin on September 1.
What are health insurance plans available under the Affordable Care Act?
Spending more on a premium plan can help you save money in the long run.
Assuming you qualify under the Affordable Care Act (see below), the state in which you live determines which healthcare providers you can use. Each plan should see Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum options. Here’s an overview of how each plan works.
Bronze: You pay the lowest monthly premium, but you pay more when it comes to paying for care. The Bronze plan’s deductible is generally much higher than the other options, so you pay more out of pocket until your deductible is reached.
Silver: This medium coverage comes with a modest monthly premium. It will cost you more than the Bronze option, but your medical treatment costs will be less than if you went with the Bronze plan.
Gold: This plan includes a high monthly premium and low costs when you need care. A low deductible means you pay much less medical expenses than with the Bronze and Silver plans.
Platinum: With the most expensive monthly premium, you have the lowest costs when it comes to medical care. Because the deductible is very low, your plan will start paying for your medical expenses sooner than any other option.
Deciding which plan to choose depends on your lifestyle, how often you need health care, and what kind of medical treatment you need. For example, if you are healthy and expect to use your insurance only for emergencies, you can opt for the Bronze or Silver formula. If you are currently undergoing treatment or expect regular medical attention, the Gold and Platinum options may be the best options.
Suppose you’re under age 30 or have an exemption based on your inability to pay health insurance. In that case, you may qualify for a catastrophic plan with a very low monthly premium and a very high deductible.
Note: Premiums are based on income levels, so your premium may be lower if you earn less.
How do I determine if I qualify for an Affordable Care Act plan?
Before you start considering which plan to choose, find out if you qualify for a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Go to healthcare.gov/screener and enter your zip code.
Then answer a few questions to see if you qualify for discounted or full-price coverage. Once you get a response, your next step is to complete an application with either the Health Insurance Marketplace or your state’s marketplace to see plans and prices.
How to sign up for Obamacare
Once you’re ready to sign up — whether between November 1 and January 15 or through special enrollment — you’ll need to create an account on HealthCare.gov or through your state’s provider. You then complete the application to view plans and pricing and select which option is best for you.
Things you may need while applying:
- Citizen service numbers for everyone on your application
- Employer and income information for everyone in your household
- Current health insurance policy numbers (if applicable)
- Information about health insurance available from your employer
- Immigration documentation
Again, once you’re enrolled, your subscription should begin on the first of the month after your enrollment date, assuming you’ve paid your first month’s premium.
Keep an eye on your insurance card after you enroll, as well as any other information about the health plan you’ve chosen.
For more healthcare information, find out if your insurance includes online therapy and how to monitor your heart health without equipment.