As a reminder, the 2024 Open Enrollment Period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace is November 1 through December 15, 2023. Anyone looking to enroll, re-enroll, or opt out of private health, vision, and dental insurance plans for 2024 must do so during this time period. After the period closes, changes can only be made by those who experience a qualifying life event such as marriage, birth of a child, or job loss.
What is the marketplace? The Affordable Care Act of 2010 mandated that all Americans be enrolled in health insurance. The marketplace platform was created to allow individuals, families, and small businesses to acquire affordable health insurance. Until 2019, anyone without coverage was forced to pay an Individual Shared Responsibility Payment. This fee has since been abolished, allowing Americans to opt out of health insurance without being penalized.
Eligibility - Many get health insurance through an employer’s group health insurance plan, Medicare or Medicaid. If you don’t qualify for insurance through these three methods, you can buy private insurance through the marketplace. Anyone who has recently retired, turned 26, become unemployed or self-employed, started working part-time, or started a business with employees is more likely to want or need private coverage.
Re-enrollment - If you’re enrolled in private insurance through the marketplace and take no action, you’ll be automatically re-enrolled into your current plan. Be aware that some of the coverage options provided and their costs vary year-to-year. Be sure to examine the types of coverage available for 2024 to choose one that offers the features you need at the best price.
Opting Out - Though the Affordable Care Act no longer requires Americans to have health insurance coverage, consider the potential cost-savings an insurance plan can have before opting out. Medical bills from illness and accidents can be catastrophic to finances. Also, you can take advantage of routine preventative care, which helps to uncover problems early before they get more expensive. These are important to consider if you weigh the pros and cons of going without coverage.
You can find answers to questions about the process, eligibility, special life event enrollment periods, and how to update your application for coverage at healthcare.gov. If you need help determining how choosing coverage or foregoing it will impact your long-term retirement plan, let’s find some time to talk. If you know anyone needing to secure individual health insurance, please feel free to send this along to them!