You could be passing up free money
More than three-quarters of the people who have purchased a plan through a Health Insurance Marketplace will be receiving financial assistance in paying their premiums, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. You could be one of them.
Depending on your family size and income, you might be able to lower your monthly premium through an Advance Premium Tax Credit. Without checking, you could be passing up this money to help pay for insurance. To find out whether you qualify, use the Consumer Reports HealthLawHelper.org (Spanish-language version: AseguraTuSalud.org). This free interactive tool offers clear, unbiased, personalized advice and links to additional resources from Consumer Reports.
(Note: if your income is low enough, you or your children may be eligible for government-financed Medicaid and CHIP programs for lower-income Americans. These programs are exempt from open enrollment and you can sign up at any time.)
Waiting until the last minute could leave you scrambling
Enrollment in new insurance plans has dramatically increased since last fall’s initial problems with the federal website. Millions of consumers still need to review their options, and you don’t want to get caught up in a last-minute shopping frenzy.
Remember, if you buy an insurance plan from March 15 through March 31, coverage might not kick in until May 1, since it takes two weeks to process applications and insurance plans tend to start on the first day of a month.
But don’t rush your decision. Depending on where you live, you might have several plan options to pick from with varying deductibles, co-pays, doctor networks, and monthly premiums. Review those and other plan options carefully.
So don’t wait until the last minute to find the right coverage for you. Visit the Consumer Reports Health Care Countdown for more information.