How Has the Affordable Care Act Changed What We Know About Health Insurance?
All individual health insurance plans are now required to cover a certain list of “essential health benefits.” These benefits include emergency and ambulatory services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health services, substance rehabilitation, preventative and wellness services, cancer screenings, laboratory services, and pediatric dental/vision care. These essential health benefits are required in all individual health insurance plans due to health care reform. In addition, enrolling for health insurance no longer requires filling out meticulous health history forms. Pre-existing conditions are no longer applicable, and your current or past health cannot affect your ability to be covered.
Why Have Health Insurance?
First, if you do not maintain health insurance you could face a tax penalty. But more importantly, while you may be healthy, you never know when you might be injured or become ill. With the cost of medical care so high these days, even just routine procedures could cost you thousands of dollars.
When Can I Enroll?
People currently enrolled in a 2014 plan have benefits that will end on December 31, 2014. If you wish to continue health care coverage into 2015, you can renew your current plan as is or choose a new plan through the 2015 open enrollment period.
When is the 2015 Open Enrollment Period?
The Open Enrollment period for 2015 coverage starts on November 15, 2014 and goes through February 15, 2015. If you do not purchase health coverage for 2015 during this period, health coverage cannot be purchased again until the next open enrollment period the following year.
When Would My Coverage Begin?
If you register between the 1st and 15th day of the month, your coverage will start the first day of the next month. If you register between the 16th and the last day of the month, your coverage will start on the first day of the second following month. For example, if you register for enrollment on November 17th, your coverage will begin on January 1st.
Can I Register for Health Insurance Outside of the Open Enrollment Period? Yes, but only if you have had a qualifying life event happen which will enable you to have a special enrollment period. Some of these circumstances include marriage, the birth of a child, or termination of employment resulting in loss of health coverage.
Applying for and finding health insurance quotes have never been easier! We recently introduced a brand new health insurance rating platform that allows you to obtain quotes from most of the health insurance companies in Tennessee and actually apply and purchase directly online!