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With the Health Insurance Marketplace entering its second consecutive year, it’s still a new and mysterious thing for many people, especially those who haven’t been properly educated on the subject. For 2017, we wanted to examine some important dates as well as address how Medicare and private insurance now works.
If you still have a job that offers insurance, you’ll enroll when you get hired and be offered the opportunity to add dependents once a year. If you don’t and you’re under 65, you may want to obtain insurance through the Federal Marketplace. Depending on your income, you may even qualify to receive a tax credit. You can find out at any time by putting your information into www.healthcare.gov, but you won’t be able to enroll unless it’s between the months of November and January, or if you have special circumstances.
- November 1, 2016
Open Enrollment begins. This is the first day that you are able to enroll, re-enroll, or change insurance plans for 2017 through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
- December 15, 2016
Last day to enroll in or change plans coverage for 2017.
- January 1, 2017
Coverage begins for individuals who have enrolled or changed plans by December 15.
- January 31, 2017
Last day to enroll in or change a plan for 2017. After this date, individuals may only enroll or change plans if they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Medicare’s open enrollment varies based on both which kind of Medicare you need and depending on your age. For the three months before and the three months after you turn 65, you can enroll in all parts of Medicare. If you’re drawing Social Security, you’ll be enrolled in parts A and B automatically, and the coverage will actually begin one month before your birthday.
If you are required to pay for Medicare part A, you may have to pay a late enrollment fee if you miss the window. The same applies to Medicare parts B, C, and D, which all share the same enrollment window around your 65th birthday. Should you miss that initial enrollment period, you can sign up between January and March of each year, but your coverage won’t kick in until July. If you want to make changes to your coverage or un-enroll completely, you can do so from October to December. Hard to keep track? They have more information here.
While health insurance goes a long way, it has costs associated with it, and it isn’t guaranteed to cover your needs. If you’re concerned about rising medical expenses, you could consider a life settlement to provide yourself a financial cushion. Not only will you get a lump sum, you’ll save yourself the expense of your premium. Check out our calculator to see if you qualify!