The ACA Open Enrollment Period is the only time of the year when everyone can enroll in a health insurance plan. But can literally anyone enroll, or is there any reason you can be denied coverage during this time? The short answer to this question is no: the whole idea behind the creation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to make sure everyone could get insurance. But being allowed to get insurance is different from insurance being accessible to all – so how does the ACA remove all the barriers to getting insurance and make everyone truly able to get the plan they need?
What The ACA Has Done for Millions
Before the ACA was passed in 2010, you could have been denied a health insurance plan simply because you had a pre-existing condition. That meant a huge amount of Americans were unable to find affordable health insurance: approximately 43% of U.S. households report having pre-existing conditions. And indeed, health insurance was out of reach for many before 2010: when the ACA went into effect approximately 46.5 million people, or 17.8% of the total nonelderly population, were uninsured.
But the ACA, with its Patients’ Bill of Rights that prohibits insurers from discriminating based on pre-existing conditions or revoking your coverage because of an unintentional mistake on an application, changed everything. 31 million people have enrolled in health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act since it was enacted, and that is a huge accomplishment! But there has been criticism over the years that health insurance, while available to everyone, was still not accessible to everyone – but that has all changed.
Earlier this year, President Biden passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which has made health insurance far more affordable for far more people. It extended premium tax credits to more Americans by allowing people who earn over 400% of the federal poverty level to receive subsidies to purchase health insurance through the ACA Marketplace; it also requires that Americans pay no more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance premiums, and provides a larger tax credit to people who already receive financial assistance.
What all of this means is cheaper premiums! For most people, premiums will be at least $50 per month cheaper, while some people might pay $0 in premiums. With the new law:
- An individual making $19,000 or less per year will not have to pay a monthly premium for health insurance.
- Couples who earn less than $70,000 together will save $1,000 per month on their health insurance monthly premiums.
- A family of 4 with an income of $90,000 will pay about $200 less in health insurance premiums.
The bottom line is you can never be denied health insurance coverage during the Open Enrollment Period; not only that, but insurance is now affordable for everyone, so there is no reason you can’t get a plan that is right for you. It is important to note, though, that the Open Enrollment Period is the only time you will be able to get coverage: if you miss the OEP, you will have to wait until next year’s OEP, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Don’t let this period pass you by – it’s the perfect (and only) time to get a great affordable health insurance plan!
If you have any further questions, or need help finding a plan during the Open Enrollment Period, an EZ agent can help you. We will provide you with a local licensed agent who will search all available plans in your area and find the best one for your medical and financial needs. We will also double check to see if you qualify for any subsidies to save you even more money. All of our services are done in minutes and at no cost to you. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a local licensed agent call 888-350-1890.