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180 DAYS LEFT TO ENROLL
Part 1

Health Insurance Marketplace

There are 3 key dates you’ll want to mark on your calendar:

  • October 1, 2013: Marketplace open enrollment started
  • January 1, 2014: Health coverage can start
  • March 31, 2014: Open enrollment ends

Use the timeline of the health care law to learn more about what’s changing and find out how the law protects you.

You can apply for Medicaid and CHIP any time

The Marketplace will tell you whether you qualify for Medicaid or theChildren’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, your coverage can begin immediately. You can also apply for either of these programs right now, before open enrollment begins. Follow the the links above to learn more.

Small employers can start SHOP coverage any time

Small employers generally may start offering health insurance coverage to their employees through the SHOP Marketplace at any time during the year.
Part 2

October 1, 2013

Open enrollment started October 1, 2013. You can compare and select from private health insurance plans in the new Marketplace. You’ll learn if you can get lower costs on your insurance before you enroll in a plan.
You’ll also learn if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). (You can apply for Medicaid and CHIP right now. Visit the links above to learn more.)
After reviewing your options, you can choose a plan that fits your needs and budget and enroll.
Part 3

January 1, 2014

If you enroll in a private health insurance plan any time between October 1, 2013 and December 15, 2013 and make your first premium payment, your new health coverage starts January 1, 2014.
During the rest of open enrollment, if you enroll between the 1st and 15th day of the month and pay your premium, your coverage begins the first day of the next month. So if you enroll on February 10, 2014, your coverage begins March 1, 2014.
If you enroll between the 16th and the last day of the month and pay your premium, your effective date of coverage will be the first day of the second following month. So if you enroll on February 16, 2014, your coverage starts on April 1, 2014.
 
Part 4

March 31, 2014

Open enrollment for 2014 health insurance coverage closes on March 31, 2014. Be sure to visit the Marketplace and enroll in a plan before this date.
After March 31, 2014, you can get new private health insurance for 2014 only through a special enrollment period if you have a qualifying life event like a job loss, birth, or divorce.
 
Starting 2014, most individual plans must offer new benefits and protections. Some plans will be changed or replaced with plans that offer these protections.
If this happens, you can choose to buy a plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace instead. If you switch to a Marketplace plan, you may qualify for lower costs based on your income.

New protections start in 2014 for most plans

The health care law generally requires individual plans to provide certain protections and benefits starting in 2014. These include:

1 exception: Grandfathered individual plans

The only individual plans that don’t have to provide these protections are grandfathered individual plans. These plans have existed largely unchanged since the health care law was passed. These plans don’t have to make any changes, and if you like you can keep the plan for as long as it’s offered.

Your plan or choices may change

Given the changes required in 2014, insurance companies offering individual plans have two choices:

  • They can make changes to your plan to provide these benefits. If they do, you’ll see these changes to your plan by the time you renew during 2014. For example, if your renewal date is in July 2014, you’ll see the changes no later than July.
  • Your insurance company may decide to offer you other individual plansrather than renew the particular plan that you have today.

Your insurance company must provide you with notice at least 90 days before your plan ends.

If you need a new plan, check out the Health Insurance Marketplace

If your plan is not being offered any longer, you can use the Health Insurance Marketplace to find health plans available to you, compare them based on price, coverage, and other important features, and enroll in a plan that fits your budget and meets your needs.
If you enroll in a Marketplace plan you may qualify for lower costs on premiums and out-of-pocket costs based in your household size and income.
All Marketplace plans will offer the protections and benefits required in 2014.
Coverage can begin as soon as January 1, 2014. Open enrollment ends March 31, 2014.

If your plan ends outside open enrollment

If your individual plan ends outside the open enrollment period, you can still use the Marketplace to get a new plan. Because the plan is ending, you get a special enrollment period.
Your Marketplace special enrollment period begins 60 days before your individual plan ends. If you wait until after you lose coverage to notify us, you have 60 days from the loss of the coverage to enroll in a new Marketplace plan.
If you want to avoid a gap in coverage, you should sign up for a new plan by the 15th of the last month of your current plan’s coverage.
If you miss this window, you’ll have to wait until the next open enrollment period in the fall of 2014 to sign up for a Marketplace plan.
The special enrollment period applies only at the end of a plan year or if your insurance company terminates your plan. Otherwise you must wait for the annual open enrollment period before you can buy insurance.

If you want a plan outside the Marketplace

You can also choose to get coverage outside the Marketplace. In 2014, health insurance companies selling plans outside the Marketplace must allow you to have open enrollment 30 days before your current individual plan renews. You will have up to 30 days after your plan ends to sign up for a new plan outside the Marketplace.
Outside of an open enrollment period, you may not be able to buy or change health plans inside or outside the Marketplace unless you experience certain qualifying life events — for example marriage, birth of a child, or loss of other health coverage.

Get Covered: A one-page guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace

Here’s a quick rundown on the most important things to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace, sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange.” Follow the links for more information on each topic.
The new Health Insurance Marketplace helps uninsured people find health coverage.When you fill out the Marketplace application we’ll tell you if you qualify for:

No matter what state you live in, you can use the Marketplace. Some states operate their own Marketplace. In some states, the Marketplace is run by the Federal government.Find the Health Insurance Marketplace in your state.
Most people must have health coverage in 2014 or pay a fee. If you don’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll have to pay a penalty of $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, or 1% of your income (whichever is higher). The fee increases every year. Some people may qualify for anexemption to this fee.
You’re considered covered if you have MedicareMedicaidCHIP, any job-based plan, anyplan you bought yourselfCOBRAretiree coverageTRICARE, VA health coverage, or some other kinds of health coverage.
If you’re eligible for job-based insurance, you can consider switching to a Marketplace plan. But you won’t qualify for lower costs based on your income unless the job-based insurance is unaffordable or doesn’t meet minimum requirements. You also may lose any contribution your employer makes to your premiums.
If you have Medicare, you’re considered covered and don’t have to make any changes.You can’t use the Marketplace to buy a supplemental or dental plan.
Marketplace open enrollment ends March 31, 2014. If you enroll by December 15, 2013, coverage can begin as soon as January 1, 2014.
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