Open enrollment for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, begins tomorrow, October 1, 2013. The open enrollment is for health plans that will begin on January 1, 2014. How do you sign up for Obamacare?
Obamacare Open Enrollment
What is open enrollment?
Open enrollment is the window of time where you can apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll in the new health plans.
When is open enrollment?
The Obamacare open enrollment period lasts longer than normal the first year to accommodate the rollout. Open enrollments lasts from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. However, if you want coverage effective on January 1, you must enroll by December 15.
How Do You Sign Up for Obamacare?
- Beginning on October 1, you can enroll at the government Health Insurance Marketplace website.
- You can review which plans you are eligible for in your state under Get Insurance.
- The tool will then guide you through the next steps to create an account, apply, pick a plan and enroll.
For example, when I selected my state to review the information I received the following message:
“If you live in Wisconsin, you’ll use this website, HealthCare.gov, to apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll. Specific plans and prices will be available on October 1, 2013.”
Will there be an Obamacare delay?
When tomorrow rolls around, will the enrollment website actually work? Last week, a one month Obamacare online enrollment delay for small business was already announced. Only time will tell if there will be any delays for individuals who want to enroll tomorrow….
Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit
If you purchase health insurance through the new insurance exchanges and your household income for the tax year is between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), you may be eligible for the New Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit depending on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income and tax bracket.
The health care tax credit is refundable, which means you can receive a tax refund even if the credit is more than your total tax, and advanceable. To find out the amount of the tax credit see What is the New Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit?
Do You Have to Sign Up for Obamacare?
If you have other health insurance (for example through your job), you do not need to sign up for Obamacare. However, everyone is subject to The Individual Mandate and tax penalties for skipping health insurance that will also go into effect on January 1, 2014.
Beginning in 2014, those without insurance will pay a penalty of $95 per person. For more on the penalty, see How Much is the Penalty for No Health Insurance in 2014?
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