You filled out a health insurance marketplace application last year.
Do you really need to fill it out again?
Can’t the insurance company just use the same information you gave them the last time you applied for health insurance coverage?
Unfortunately, under the rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), each year you do need to submit a new application, but whether or not you need to fill out the entire application again will depend on a few things.
What is the Health Insurance Marketplace
The health insurance marketplace is run by the United States Government. It is an official website of the United States Government and was established as a result of the signing into the law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23rd, 2010 and is widely known as Obamacare. Though the law represented the biggest change to the United States Healthcare system in history, for the average consumer, the Health Insurance website is the typical point-of-entry into the health insurance system. Every health plan in the Marketplace offers the same set of essential health benefits, including doctor visits, preventive care, hospitalization, prescriptions, and more.
Provides Financial Help for those Meeting Certain Criteria
While the act made many changes to existing health insurance plans, for example, it includes a wide array of mandatory preventive care practices and eliminates discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, it also provides financial help using Insurance Premium Subsidies, based on your annual household income and family size. In particular, it relies on a measurement called the Federal Poverty Level, as defined the Federal Government’s Social Security Administration. The FPL changes each year as do the subsidy levels.
Health Insurance Marketplace Application Basics
The first thing you want to know about completing your health insurance marketplace application is that you need to complete it during open enrollment, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to major qualifying life event as defined by the ACA.
Open enrollment for 2023 is from November 1, 2022, to December 15, 2022 and anyone can apply for coverage during this period. After the open enrollment period closes, you won’t be eligible to apply unless you have a qualifying life change.
Special Enrollment Periods Qualifying Life Events
What are some qualifying life events that would allow you sign up during a special enrollment period? A partial list of qualifying life events includes things like getting married, having a baby, Qualifying for Medicaid or CHIP, or losing other coverage. These qualify life events allow you to sign up year round
If you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, you are eligible to apply at any time as there is no open enrollment or special enrollment period for income-eligible people.
Small Businesses and Large Enterprises
® Keep in mind, if your employer offers you insurance through the ACA, your enrollment periods will vary depending on their policies. This won’t apply to you. While businesses under 50 employees don’t have to provide health insurance, there are subsidies available under the ACA that enable even companies with as few as 25 employees to offer attractive health plans.
Here is some of the basic information you’ll need to use for the health insurance market place application:
- Personal information
- Contact information
- Household information
- Home Addresses of all covered applicants
- Information about covered applicants
- SSNs of everyone applying for coverage
They may require some additional information, such as information about any professional help you received while filling out the application, your immigration documents, how you will file your taxes, and your employer and income information.
ProTip: You can also apply by phone or there is a paper application process available as well. Our agents are glad to help you with these as well, at no cost to you.
5 Tips for Completing Your Health Insurance Market Place Application
Completing your health insurance market place application during the open enrollment period is critical to ensuring you have health insurance coverage at the beginning of next year. Use these tips to help speed up your application process:
1. Give yourself enough time to complete the health insurance application all at once.
If this is your first time filling out the health insurance application, it can take a little bit of time to get all of the questions answered. Give yourself 30 minutes or longer to thoroughly complete the application.
You can also make an appointment to talk with a Florida insurance agent or broker to see what your health insurance plan options are – they can help you fill out an application, as well. They can also help explain the various levels of plans available and the related deductibles, costs and coverage.
2. Get together your income and employment information ahead of time.
A Fiorella Insurance Agent can help you choose insurance that’s right for you.
Being self-employed doesn’t mean you’re excluded – there are documents you can submit to see if you qualify for premium tax credits, too.
3. Update any information that has changed since the last time you filled out the application.
The portal may save information for those who have filled out the application in the past. You’ll want to update anything that has changed since the last time you applied.
Updates can include anything, such as your dependent situation, employment and income information, and your address or phone number.
4. Submit all documents requested as soon as possible.
In some cases, documents will be requested to verify information. Some of those documents can be your income information, citizenship status, and dependent changes.
5. Try to use the same login information that you used last year on the health insurance marketplace.
If you’ve put in a health insurance market place application in the past, you’ll want to try to use the same login information you used previously to log into the federal government’s secure website.
Using the same login information will speed up the process. The federal government fun Healthcare.gov portal saves some of your information, so you won’t have to enter everything all over again. It will also keep you from having to deal with the marketplace call center, which can involve long wait times due to the volume of calls it experiences during open enrollment.
What Information does Health Insurance Market Place Application Store?
The good news about using the same login information each year is that the Healthcare.gov portal stores some of your information.
This means you won’t have to enter all your information again, just make changes to the information that needs to be updated and answer any questions that need to be answered annually – and do it by the open enrollment date.
Here’s some of the information that the health insurance market place application stores:
- Personal information: The portal stores things like your name and address, so you’ll need to make any updates to your information when you apply for 2021.
- Household information: Your household information will stay the same unless you change it, so make sure to log in by the December 15th deadline to update your household information.
- Employer information: Your employer and income information will rollover if you do not update it every year, so take the time to log in and update it to see if you qualify for tax credits.
They may store some other information, as your plan may automatically renew each year. Take care to update anything that may have changed so you’ll qualify for the most savings.
How to Speed up Your Health Insurance Market Place Application
The health insurance market place application process is relatively streamlined now. As long as your information is verifiable, you should be able to apply online and immediately get your coverage options.
In some cases, you may need to submit documents. If you need to submit them, the speed of getting your coverage options will depend on how quickly you submit the required paperwork.
If you qualify for health insurance premium tax credits, you’ll find out once you submit the application and before you select your coverage.
Once you select your coverage, you’ll just need to make any initial payments and then your coverage begins when indicated.
The process is pretty simple and designed to be as fast as possible. You’ll want to spend some time comparing options, though.