Open Enrollment 2021: Changes You Need to Know About

Open enrollment is only a few weeks away and it’s time for you to find the perfect plan. According to a recent survey, over 43% of working adults in 2020 were underinsured. Of these numbers, half had troubles paying off medical bills, or were in medical debt from their poor health insurance coverage. You have to find a plan that not only suits your budget, but all your medical needs as well. To top it off, you have to do this in a matter of weeks!

Everyone looking to get health insurance for 2022 should prepare themselves before open enrollment. That way, you’ll know exactly what to expect. 

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide To Your Health Insurance

When Is Open Enrollment For 2022?

Open enrollment is from November 1 to December 15, 2021. Once you’ve selected a plan, your health insurance comes into effect on January 1, 2022. 

You can apply for Medicare and Medicaid anytime of year. Otherwise, if you want to apply for another health insurance plan out of open enrollment, you’ll need to qualify for special enrollment. However, this can change depending on your state. 

Also Read: A Guide To All Medicare Coverage Plans (With Charts)

As of 2020, the following states control their own marketplace and have established special enrollment dates:  

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Idaho
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

If you see your state listed here, check their website to find out more on special enrollment and open enrollment dates. All state websites are linked in our list. 

Your Marketplace Open Enrollment Letter For 2021

By November 1, you should receive a letter from your current insurance company and the Marketplace. If you don’t get a letter by November 1, contact the Marketplace call center. 

These letters tell you your 2021 coverage status, and changes to your current coverage. These letters also tell you how to apply, where to get financial help, and the plan you’d automatically be enrolled in if you don’t pick one by the end of open enrollment.

Your Marketplace letter tells you how to get your premium tax credit for 2021. To receive your tax credit, you might need to send out documents like tax forms. Keep your application as up-to-date as possible, this makes the application process easier, and guarantees more savings for you. 

Your insurance company’s letter includes whether or not your current plan is available for 2021 and if there are any changes to the plan. If your health insurance plan is not available, your insurer offers you a similar or alternative plan. This letter also gives you a premium quote that includes your premium tax credit. Be sure to make sure the tax credit reflects your current information. For example, if you were recently promoted and now make more, you should update your income.    

Regardless of whether or not you’ve had a recent change, you should always make sure all your application information is up-to-date. Your Marketplace application needs to include both your expected income and basic household information. This also allows you to compare plans more easily during open enrollment. 

Also Read: A Step-By-Step Guide To Prepare For Open Enrollment in 2021

Changes To Health Insurance In 2021

Healthcare is something everyone has had on their mind in 2020. Americans not only need affordable coverage, but substantial coverage in case anything unprecedented does happen to their family. Thankfully, there are some changes that can help with that. 

More Affordable Plans

You’ll find new, affordable health insurance plans on Marketplace this year. Marketplace understands your needs change every year, so you need plans that’ll suit all your needs. This is especially important if you’ve had an income or household change. 

These new plans offer lower premiums. With new insurers entering or reentering the Marketplace. This varies from state to state, but the Marketplace predicts that benchmark premiums will generally decrease this year. 

Changes To Premium Subsidies 

With benchmark premiums declining, other factors with your health insurance will change too. If you received premium subsidies in 2020, you may them to be a little smaller this year. It’s important to shop with care while you explore the marketplace. Always compare both your premium costs and overall out-of-pocket expenses.  

Medicare Premium Increases

Millions of seniors rely on Medicare to receive healthcare coverage. This year, it’s estimated that monthly premiums will raise by 6%, meaning the average senior will pay around $153.30 a month. Thankfully, the Government has limited any Medicare increases to 25% of what they had been in 2020.

Also Read: FAQ: What Does Medicare Part B Cover?

Healthcare Network Changes

In a recent survey, many larger companies said their network availability changes and varies. This means that depending on your employer’s location, your network’s geographical coverage may change. However, this may not be bad news. With telehealth becoming more popular, you’ll still have lots of access to covered healthcare, even if it’s far away. In exchange, employees will likely see lower premiums. 

Also Read: Pros And Cons To Ditching Your Employers Health Insurance

More Telehealth Options

Telemedicine offers a great solution for those who want to continue social distancing, or if you don’t want to have an in-person visit. The costs of these visits are normally much more affordable, and offer far more convenience. 

Also Read: 7 Surprising Healthcare Resources You Can Get Right From Home  

No More Tax Penalty

If you do decide to opt-out of health insurance altogether this year, you won’t be charged a federal tax penalty. Just remember that many states like the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont all have state-mandated fines for opting out. Other states are currently considering these penalties as well. And one emergency hospital visit can literally put you millions of dollars in medical debt. 

Financial Help For Open Enrollment in 2021

Health insurance is expensive, even if you can easily afford all the premiums and deductibles. Marketplace does offer financial help if you’re having trouble finding affordable health insurance. If your health insurance quotes are higher than you expected, be sure to:

  • Update your application information 
  • Include your household and income information
  • See if your premium tax credit was added to your premium 
  • Check to see if you qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, or other assistance programs

Also Read: How To Get Help Paying For Your Hospital Bill

If you have troubles comparing quotes, you can always call Quote Purple to see if you’re receiving the most from your health insurance.

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