The Open Enrollment Deadline is Approaching
This is a quick reminder that the shot clock is winding down on open enrollment for 2021 health plans! In most states, the cutoff date is December 15, just over a week away. You have until the end of the month to enroll in a January 1st plan in other states. Either way, it's time to get moving on finding a great health plan for you!
Still shopping for health insurance? Here is the essential, last-minute information to know in the final weeks of open enrollment.
The Open enrollment deadline is just week(s) away
The deadline for buying health insurance in most states is December 15, including New Mexico and Texas. If you don't enroll by this date, you won't have coverage for the whole year of 2021. Chilly!
You can see a complete list of states and their open enrollment periods here.
Pro-tip: Don't wait another day to start exploring health insurance options. If you miss your date, you'll likely have to wait another year to enroll in a plan unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.
Where do I buy a health plan?
You have three options for buying health insurance, and they all have their perks.
You can first buy through your state's health insurance exchange (which you can find here). On the health insurance exchange, you'll find all of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans being offered in your state. You can compare benefits and prices and decide what plan best fits your healthcare needs. You can also see if you qualify for federal assistance to lower your premium and possibly other healthcare costs. You can only get this subsidy if you buy on the health insurance exchange.
You can also purchase a health plan directly through an ACA-compliant health insurance carrier, like Friday Health Plans. This is a one-stop experience, where you can enroll in your health plan and take care of your first month's premium payment.
Lastly, you can use a certified and trusted health insurance broker to help you navigate plans and find the perfect fit for you.
Pro-tip: However you choose to enroll, make sure you're finding the most wallet-friendly option for the coverage you need. You can visit this page to see if you qualify for financial assistance on your health plan.
You may qualify if your annual income is less than the below:
What are the absolutely crucial things I should know about buying health insurance?
We've outlined our top five tips for saving money on a health plan in this article. Definitely give it a read before you start exploring options! We've also simplified the different tiers of health plans -- Catastrophic, Bronze, Silver, and Gold -- in this plan guide. This will help you know, at a high level, what tier of plan meets your needs.
Pro-tip: Make sure your plan offers great benefits and services before you hit your deductible -- otherwise you could be paying out-of-pocket for doctor visits and drugs. At Friday, we offer unlimited $0 primary care visits and virtual visits with Teladoc, free generic drugs, and $0 mental health appointments, on most plans -- all before your deductible even kicks in.
Any final words of advice?
1) Make sure you're covered! Going uninsured is risky business, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country. Right now, it's even more important to enroll in a health plan that covers $0 testing and treatment options, as well as the vaccine when it becomes available.
Without health insurance, a car accident or major unexpected illness, like a trip to the hospital with COVID-19, can turn into bankruptcy in a matter of weeks.
Every day you'll need to worry about avoiding injury or illness . That's a heavy burden to bear, not to mention the cost of getting treated if you crash or get sick. Get a comprehensive ACA-compliant plan or risk saving a dime to spend a dollar (or a few thousand).
2) And make sure you're getting ACA-compliant coverage. ACA-compliant coverage refers to health plans that offer benefits for a broad range of healthcare services that meet the Affordable Care Act requirements, which is also known as ObamaCare.
Major health insurance companies, like Friday Health Plans, offer ACA-compliant coverage. ACA-compliant coverage covers pre-existing conditions and guarantees access to essential health benefits like free annual wellness exams and preventive medicines and procedures, and are regulated to ensure you get the coverage you’re paying for