Understanding Health Insurance for 2018

September 14, 2019



Having health insurance is important no matter your financial or life situation. The Health Insurance Marketplace is designed to try and help you find affordable and adequate coverage for you, or your family. You may be eligible for tax credits depending on your income as well.

The Open Enrollment period for health insurance has begun. It’s very important to understand that the enrollment period is much shorter than in previous years. For 2018 health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can enroll in a new plan, or change your current plan.

Dates To Remember for Open Enrollment

The Open Enrollment period runs from November 1st, 2017. This was the first date to find a new plan and enroll, enroll again in your current plan, or change to a different plan.

The Open Enrollment period ends December 15th, 2017. This date is the final date for you to find a new plan and enroll, enroll again in your current plan, or change to a different plan.

Health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace takes effect on January 1st, 2018. Note that if you have a premium payment, you must pay your premium for the insurance to take effect.

What If I Don’t Enroll During Open Enrollment?

If you do not apply for health insurance through the Marketplace during Open Enrollment, you can only enter into a new plan or change plans if you qualify for the Special Enrollment Period. The Special Enrollment Period applies to you if you or anyone in your household lost health coverage in a 60 day period. You can also qualify for the Special Enrollment Period if you expect to lose health insurance coverage within an oncoming 60 day period. Events that may allow you to take advantage of Special Enrollment include: marriage, divorce or separation, death, if you or your spouse is expecting a child or have adopted a child. Additionally, loss of health insurance through your job, Medicare/Medicade, through a family member, or COBRA may help you qualify for the Special Enrollment period. For more information regarding the Special Enrollment Period, healthcare.gov details these situations.

Am I required to have coverage?

If you do not have health insurance coverage through your employer, Medicade, Medicare, The Children’s Health Insurance Plan or some other plan that meets the requirements for the Affordable Care Act, you may be subject to a penalty. The penalty is figured in two different manners, according to your household income, and a per person penalty. Whatever calculation results in the higher penalty is the penalty that you will pay.

Where Can I Find More Information About Costs & Plans?

One of the best places to find more information can be visiting HealthCare.gov. This website provides an abundance of information about plans, coverage, keeping or updating your current plans, fee estimates, and more.