Affordable Care Act

5 Reasons to Shop Early Before the Obamacare Deadline

Published on January 14, 2016

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In high school or college, you may have prided yourself on your procrastination skills. But with the Obamacare deadline approaching, now is no time to procrastinate!
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The nationwide Obamacare open enrollment period for 2016 health insurance plans is scheduled to end on January 31, 2016. After that date, you may not be able to get a new health insurance plan until 2017.
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Don’t be a last-minute shopper!
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Here are our top five reasons you should get online and shop for 2016 coverage before January 31:
5 reasons to shop now for obamacare plans

    • If you have questions, you’ll need 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 moment. Look at your options now while you have time to talk with an expert.

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    • You don’t want to scramble for your paperwork at the last minute. 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 together now to save yourself last-minute headaches.

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  • Last-minute shoppers tend to overlook out-of-pocket costs. 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.
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  • You might accidentally overlook 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.

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  • The last-minute crush on deadline day can cause 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 31 deadline, visit eHealth.com.
 

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