Affordable Care Act
5 Reasons to Shop Early for Obamacare
Published on January 23, 2017
The deadline to apply for health coverage that takes effect on March 1, 2017 is fast approaching, and there are several good reasons not to procrastinate!
January 31, 2017 Deadline
The nationwide Obamacare open enrollment period for 2017 health insurance plans is scheduled to end on January 31, 2017. If you want new coverage to start March 1, 2017 you need to apply for coverage before open enrollment ends.
Your future self will thank you if you apply for coverage right now!
Here are our top five reasons you should get online and shop for 2017 coverage before December 15:
- Have questions? Take the time to talk with someone.Health insurance is a complicated product. When considering different health plans, you may have questions that can’t be answered by a Google search. Licensed agents can answer the really tough questions and help you pick the right plan for your needs, but it’ll be hard to get a licensed agent on the phone if you wait until the last days of open enrollment. Look at your options now while you have time to talk with an expert.
- Last-minute paperwork is a hassle. You may need some papers handy when enrolling in a plan or applying for insurance subsidies. For example, you may need the Social Security numbers of your spouse and children. You may also want your W2 from last year to help you estimate your 2016 income (and hence your eligibility for subsidies). Get your paperwork in order now to make sure the enrollment process smooth and stress-free.
- Out-of-pocket costs could get overlooked if you wait till the end. When you wait till the last minute, you may only have time to look at the monthly premiums associated with different plan options. But the out-of-pocket costs you’ll face when you actually use your coverage are just as important as your monthly premiums. Give yourself time to find a plan with a deductible and copayments you can actually afford.
- You might forget to search doctor networks and prescription drug coverage too. When you’re in a rush it’s also easy to forget that not all doctors accept all insurance plans. If you have a favorite doctor or hospital, you need to make sure they’re in-network with any new plan you are considering. You’ll also want to make sure that your new plan covers the specific prescription drugs you use at a price that’s affordable
- Deadline-day causes big headaches and big problems. It’s a big problem every year: Last minute shoppers get stuck in virtual lines trying to submit their health insurance enrollment online before the final bell. In the last-minute crush you could get stuck trying to submit your application for hours, and there’s a chance your enrollment won’t go through in time. Save yourself the frustration and headache by shopping today.
To learn more about your coverage options before the January 31stdeadline, visit eHealth.com.