2021 Special Enrollment Period Is Almost Over! Look Into A Plan Now!

The Open Enrollment Period for purchasing health insurance on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace is usually only from November 1 – December 15, unless you experience a qualifying life event. But this year, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Biden Administration opened up a Special Enrollment Period so Americans would have the opportunity to purchase a health insurance plan without a qualifying life event. This Special Enrollment Period began on February 15, 2021, and has been extended until August 15, 2021, allowing millions of Americans to sign up for health insurance coverage. In fact, according to a report released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as of July 14, more than 2 million Americans have signed up for an insurance plan! But the deadline to get a plan is coming up, so now is the time to look at your options, with the help of an EZ agent. 

Get More Savings

hundred dollar bills spread out
The American Rescue Plan has helped millions of Americans save more money by expanding premium subsidies to everyone.

Not only did the Biden Administration create this Special Enrollment Period, but they have also passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which has expanded subsidies for health insurance premiums, making them available to millions of Americans, and making plans far more affordable. Premium subsidies have been expanded for people at every income level, including those with incomes more than 4 times the federal poverty level. 

Before the ARP was passed, individuals and families with incomes above 400% of the federal poverty line were not eligible for premium subsidies, but the new law has made premium tax credits available to them. It also caps premium payments at 8.5% of household income, based on the cost of a benchmark plan – this means that, as long as the cost of a benchmark plan is equal to or more than the 8.5% of your household income, you will receive tax credits. 

These expanded subsidies also mean that people making up to 150% of the federal poverty level can now get Silver plans on the Marketplace for $0 a month, with reduced deductibles. The report released by the CMS also showed that, of the new and returning consumers who have selected a plan since April 1, 1.2 million consumers (34%) have selected a plan that costs $10 or less per month after the American Rescue Plan’s (ARP) premium reductions.

red alarm clock ringing with lightning bolts on each side of it
The Special Enrollment Period will be ending August 15!

Find A Plan Before It’s Over

“The American Rescue Plan has made health coverage more affordable and accessible than ever – and people are signing up. Health coverage provides the peace of mind that every American deserves,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Through August 15, the American people have an opportunity to select a quality health care plan that works for them, with costs that are at an all-time low. CMS is dedicated to ensuring people in our communities have the coverage they need.”

The opening of the Special Enrollment Period and the expansion of premium subsidies has been a lifesaver for many people, especially for the millions of Americans who have been struggling financially during the pandemic. But this Special Enrollment Period is coming to an end, which means that, while you can still qualify for the subsidies until the end of the year, you will have to wait until the Open Enrollment Period begins November 1 to enroll, unless you experience a qualifying event. 

You only have fewer than 3 weeks to find a plan – don’t wait until it’s too late to get insured and have the peace of mind that comes with being covered. EZ.Insure’s agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the country, and we can compare plans in your area in minutes, helping you find a plan that meets your medical needs, while saving you as much money as possible. No obligation, just free quotes! To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a license agent, call 888-350-1890.

OEP Deadlines and Extensions

Are you completely happy with your health insurance? The 2019 open enrollment period has officially begun on November 1st, and will continue until December 15, 2018, lasting six weeks. During this time is when you can sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Last year was the first time the enrollment was shortened to just 6 weeks, and it continues this year as well. With the shortened deadline continuing, it is important to review your health insurance coverage, compare others, and sign up before the December 15. Some states this year have extended the period. Find out which states and how long you have depending where you live.

Some states have extended the open enrollment deadline for 2019 healh insurance.
Some states have extended the open enrollment deadline for 2019 healh insurance.

Extended States

The states that have participated in open enrollment with extensions are:

  • California, October 15, 2018 – January 15, 2019
  • Colorado,  November 1, 2018 – January 12, 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 – December 31, 2018

Three more states have the opportunity to extend their open enrollment period. The states that did so last year last minute, and can do it again are:

  • Connecticut, November 1, 2017 – December 22, 2017
  • Maryland, November 1, 2017 – December 22, 2017
  • Washington, November 1, 2017 – January 15, 2018

Other Changes

Another change to keep in mind during the open enrollment is that if you have missed payments in the past, then you can not sign up. The loophole that used to let people stop paying premiums at the end of the year and still be able to sign up is over. If all of your premiums are not paid for the 2018 year, then you will not beale to sign up for

Make sure to sign up before time runs out.
Make sure to sign up before time runs out.

2019 health insurance.

If you decide to buy health insurance from the ACA, then you should start looking into plans now and purchase it before the end of the enrollment period. Once you buy a plan, coverage will begin January 1, 2019. If you miss the open enrollment period, the only other time you can sign up is during a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event such as marriage, having a baby, or losing coverage. You will now have to provide the necessary paperwork proving the qualifying life event. Start researching as soon as possible your options so you do not run out of time.