Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the number of Americans with health insurance coverage rose dramatically. In the last three years, open enrollment dates have been set as well as special enrollment dates for those who failed to enroll within the given period. Despite the controversies of this health care system reform law, the government and supporters of Obamacare say that Americans are the ones to benefit by taking advantage of open enrollment and learning more about this topic might interest you.
Important Facts You Need to Know about Obamacare Open Enrollment
1. In 2015, nearly 1.4 million Americans have enrolled in new plans since the open enrollment period started in November.
2. For the 2015 open enrollment period, duration was for only three months while for 2014, six months were allotted.
3. A special enrollment period for extension is sometimes given for those who fail to make it to the open enrollment dates or for those who were not able finish with the enrollment process. These dates may vary depending on the state. For 2013, it was the Washington state which gave the longest extension which was until April 17th.
4. Those who will not be able to enroll during the open enrollment period and choose to be uninsured can be penalized for the months they do not have health insurance coverage.
5. If an individual fails to enroll during the open enrollment period, he or she might not be able to buy health insurance for the given year unless he or she qualifies for the special enrollment period.
6. During the open enrollment dates, individuals can enroll for a new health insurance plan, change an existing health insurance policy or take advantage of subsidies.
7. People who fail to enroll in and out of the marketplace within the allotted open enrollment dates might have to wait for the following year to get covered.
8. Those who were not able to enroll within the enrollment period and do not qualify for special enrollment can get a short term health insurance coverage but might still have to pay the monthly penalty for the months he or she is uncovered. Short term health insurance is not considered under Obamacare so penalty can still be imposed.
9. Individuals who will not be covered for 2016 might be facing penalties of about 2.5% of the annual household income or $695 for each individual while $347.50 will be imposed for children below 18 years old, whichever is higher. As for payment, it will be paid at the filing of the federal income tax the following year.
10. Maximum tax credit given to enrollees will depend on how much is the rate for second-lowest priced silver plan which varies in different states. In 2014, about 85% of Obamacare enrollees were able to get lower premiums as a result of their tax credits.
11. A person’s eligibility for a tax subsidy during open enrollment dates depends a lot on income. The lower it is, the higher is the chance to get a higher tax credit.
12. Major events in life such as getting married or giving birth to a child has a weight on the amount of tax credit an individual can get. This can lower the cost of the health insurance premium.
13. For 2015, open enrollment period had been changed more than once.
14. Websites for open enrollment, healthcare.gov and the state marketplace ask for a change of passwords frequently to ensure protection to enrollees and members.
15. There were 11.4 million Americans who signed up for Obamacare coverage for 2015 while 8 million enrolled with the marketplace for the 2014 open enrollment dates which run from October 2013 to April 2014.
16. According to a report by HHS, as of March 2015, the total number of covered Americans who were enrolled via the marketplace, Medicaid expansion and those who under age 26 and who fall under their parents’ plans was 16.4 million. The number had increased to 17.6 in September 2015.
17. Many individuals enrolled during the special enrollment period in 2015 while others switched plans and let go of their existing health insurance plans.
18. By taking advantage of open enrollment dates, qualified Americans can get insurance premiums of less than $100.
19. There are no open enrollment dates for Medicaid and Medicare. Individuals who qualify can enroll at any date they prefer while for those whose insurance is job-based, there is a unique open enrollment date.
20. Although it is not included in the provisions of Obamacare, all private health insurance companies have modeled their enrollment dates with that of the open enrollment dates under Obamacare.
21. Those who have job-based health insurance can apply for special enrollment for a duration of 30 days.
22. A rule was created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure there is more public access to information about the open enrollment dates.
23. In order to enroll, individuals have to sign-up with the marketplace or the marketplace on the state they reside in by setting up an account. Signing-up and enrolling are not the same.
24. The Obama administration gave $60 million in grants to 90 organizations from the previous $67 million given to 34 organizations which used Obamacare to fund the dissemination of information to the people about open enrollment periods during the first year.
25. Enrollment is to be done annually and the open enrollment dates will vary each year.
26. In 2014, GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina advised non-profit organizations which were supporting Obamacare about the health care system reform. The politician wanted the law repealed.
27. With the turnout of enrollees for the open enrollment period and the special enrollment dates, half the number of employed Americans was able to get health insurance coverage paid for by their employer. In the case of people who were given tax subsidies, 1 out of 10 Americans benefited while low income earners who qualified for Medicaid were also recipients of the benefits brought Obamacare.
28. For 2016, open enrollment dates are from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016. No enrollment extensions have been announced yet.