February 3, 2016
Since the advent of open enrollment circa the Affordable Care Act, there have been those who were either unwilling, unknowing or otherwise unable to purchase coverage. For many it was a matter of intense network congestion while attempting to sign-up during the final week. Just as many others didn’t know, or deliberately avoided the process altogether.
Regardless of the backstory, if you were not able to buy medical insurance in time to beat the open enrollment deadline, you may still be able to get coverage under the Special Enrollment Period. Let's review the basic tenets of special healthcare enrollment to provide a better understanding of how it works.
What is Special Enrollment?
At the most basic level, Special Enrollment allows certain people to sign-up for health insurance after Open Enrollment has ended. This extension was adopted to allow those who've experienced major life changes the opportunity to purchase or change their coverage. After reporting your specific lifestyle change (marriage, new baby, recent move, etc…) and if qualified, you will be granted 60 days in which to purchase a new plan, or make changes to your existing coverage. Employer-provided plans are now required to provide a 30-day special enrollment period to its employees.
Am I Eligible for Coverage?
Until very recently the list of Special Enrollment qualifying factors was rather extensive. In 2016, though, new restrictions were put in place that disqualify many from signing up. The most common scenarios include those where people have moved, gotten married, had a baby, lost their job, or were recently hired at a new company.
Are There Specific Dates for Special Enrollment in IL?
Unlike Open Enrollment, which typically runs during a very structured three-month timeframe, Special Enrollment operates as more of a personal grace period based on your life change. In order to qualify, you need to report your qualifying event to the Healthcare Marketplace. Once approved, you'll have approximately two months to purchase or modify your coverage. You will also be notified on whether or not you qualify for a reduced health insurance premium subsidy under Obamacare.
How Do I Sign-up for Coverage?
We strongly recommend working with a local agent to avoid confusion, eliminate application mistakes (which can't be changed later) and significantly expedite the process. If you're comfortable going at it alone, you can call or logon to the healthcare marketplace. Keep in mind that, as briefly mentioned, changing mistakes or oversights is next to impossible until the next open enrollment begins. Health insurance agencies offer identical rates and can guarantee the 100% accuracy and timeliness of your submission.
Free Assistance with Special Enrollment Signup
Are you in Illinois or the Chicago area and wondering if you're eligible for 2016 Special Enrollment? Premier can make the process fast and stress-free. We're one of the leading independent Chicago-area health insurance agencies, and proud to offer free, professional assistance on a wide range of healthcare insurance services.
We invite you to contact our staff of licensed agents at 800-369-0287, or drop us a line via e-mail through our secure contact forum. Premier is conveniently located in Lisle near the Naperville business district, with appointments available online, over the phone, ort at your location or ours.