More than 16 million workers have lost their jobs in the U.S. because of COVID-19. What does that mean for workers who carried employer-based health insurance? Employer-based health insurance is the largest insurance provider to the nonelderly. Because of this, workers are facing another crisis: the loss of their health insurance.
This is not the time to be uninsured. There are more than 600,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., and the cost of not having insurance is high. Therefore, it is crucial to find a new insurance policy after losing your previous one.
The best place to buy health insurance is in the health insurance marketplace. The marketplace will inform you if you qualify for assistance programs like Medicaid. If you do not qualify for a federal program, you may need to be eligible for a special enrollment period.
What is a Qualifying Event for Special Enrollment?
Unfortunately, open enrollment is closed in most states as of January 1st of 2020. However, some states have chosen to reopen their enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you live in one of these states, it is crucial that you apply for coverage before the deadline. If you do not live in a state providing open enrollment, you will need to qualify for a special enrollment period.
An Obamacare special enrollment period is a time that you can enroll in new insurance coverage outside of open enrollment. To be eligible for special enrollment, you must have a qualifying life event. Qualifying life events include:
- Losing your health insurance
- Getting married
- Getting a divorce or legal separation that results in a loss of coverage
- Having a baby, adopting a child, or placed a child for foster care.
- Changing residences, in some instances
If qualified, you will have either 60 days before or after the event to enroll in a new insurance plan. Therefore, time is of the essence, and it is crucial to act quickly to avoid a lapse in coverage.
What to Do If You Missed the Special Enrollment Period
If you missed the special enrollment period, you could still qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is a government program that helps low-income households obtain health insurance. Losing your employment due to the coronavirus means that you would have also suffered a loss of income. You may qualify for Medicaid, even if you did not previously.
3 Considerations When Choosing a Policy During the Obamacare Special Enrollment Period
Do you qualify for the Obamacare special enrollment? Here are three considerations to have when selecting a new policy.
If you lost your job, you likely lost your income or saw a drastic reduction. Therefore, the cost is likely high on your list of considerations for insurance, as it should be.
Insurance costs include premiums and out-of-pocket expenses such as copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and maximum out-of-pocket costs. Your insurer will not begin to cover the cost of your healthcare until after you meet your deductible. Insurance policies that have a lower deductible and out-of-pocket amounts typically have higher premiums. It’s essential to weigh these costs carefully to choose the plan that’s best for you.
2. Provider Networks
COVID-19 pandemic or not, most people prefer to keep their current doctors. When applying for insurance through the Obamacare special enrollment period, you will have the chance to view provider networks. This is a crucial consideration for acquiring insurance. If you would like to see a doctor who is not part of your insurer’s network, you may be on the hook for the majority of your medical expenses.
Take a look at the benefits of each insurance plan. Are all of your medications and treatments included, or will a plan cost you more? Does one policy offer more benefits and incentives than another? Plans that cover more benefits typically cost more but may save you money on out-of-pocket expenses.
Letting an Insurance Agent Help You with Your Obamacare Special Enrollment Period
While finding health insurance can seem like a daunting task during tough times, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans are asking the same questions about the Obama special enrollment period and health insurance options.
An insurance agent can help you navigate post-coronavirus health insurance. By speaking with an agent about your financial and medical situation, they can help you find the best plan for you. Fiorella Insurance Agency is one of the largest licensed insurance agencies in Florida. We’ve helped over 66,000 healthcare customers, and that number is rising every day. Contact us today to see how we can help you with the Obamacare special enrollment period. You can also apply immediately by using the form below to get started.