Illness is a part of life, and nothing makes that more evident than the looming coronavirus. Unfortunately, one crucial thing that is also a part of illness is the fee you have to pay for the cure. And when you or someone in your family falls ill, being hard-pressed for money can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. With the pandemic in full swing, you’ve probably already started to google things like “affordable care act” and “open enrollment 2021 for a health insurance plan”. .

At a time like this, you should be pouring all your energy into caring for yourself and your family. Instead, a lot of us find ourselves worried about where the money will come from in case things go wrong. Because let’s face it, health care is expensive.

But don’t worry, this is where health insurance enters the picture. Just like you invest in renters insurance to protect your possessions, health insurance is a necessary investment for you and your family.

While we know thinking about this might feel grim, it’s important to think about these things. Because at times like these, the guarantee that if worse comes to worst, you’ll be able to protect your family is priceless. Because knowing that you can afford the best resources and care to help your family recover from a health crisis is really reassuring.

However, if it’s your first time thinking about health insurance, the whole process can feel overwhelming. But if you’ve heard about the upcoming open enrollment plan, we can help you understand what that is a bit more. So, here’s a break up of what health insurance has to offer and what exactly open enrollment is.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Simply put, ACA lets you purchase health care through the state marketplace if you don’t have a health insurance plan. This can be personal or through an employer. Through ACA, a lot of people who didn’t have access before get access affordable health insurance options. These include medical, dental, vision, and other types of health insurance plans.

Some of the features included in the Affordable Care Act are:

  • You can’t be refused insurance cover based on your gender or a pre-existing condition
  • You can avail benefits of your family plan until age 26. Even if you are married, not living with parents, attending school, not financially dependent on your parents, and eligible to enroll in your employer’s plan.
  • Seniors who have repetitive drug bills can claim discounts on their medical bills.

What is open enrollment and when is it?

So, open enrollment is a time of the year when citizens can make changes or start new investments in their health insurance plans when purchased through the ACA marketplace. Through open enrollment, you can:

  • Re-enroll in your current health insurance plan
  • Choose a health insurance plan for the first time
  • Choose a new health insurance plan to replace your current plan
  • Make changes to your existing health insurance plan

Open enrollment 2021 is going to run from November 1 through December 15, 2020.

Things to keep in mind for open enrollment:

  • You’ll be paying based on your income after checking if you’re eligible.
  • Make sure you have the list of the documents you need ready with you before you start applying.
  • You can submit your applications through the online portal or from your phone.
  • Through an agent/broker or certified enrollment partner websites With a paper application

Also, don’t forget to check if you’re eligible for a special enrollment period. Especially if you think you might not be able to gather all all your documents in time. This means, the special enrollment period can help you buy or change your health insurance plan all through the year.

On the condition that:

  • you’re getting married or divorced
  • having a baby
  • losing other coverage (eg. turning 26 and cannot be part of the family plan anymore)
  • moving to a new state

So don’t delay this. Put in some time to research more. If you need, get in touch with your local help for more guidance. They can help you make beneficial changes in your health insurance plan.

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