Consumers looking for government subsidized health insurance for the next year must sign up by Wednesday if they want their new plan to begin on January 1st.
HealthCare.gov and its government counterparts are insurance marketplaces that offer taxpayer subsidized private coverage.
Independent experts say HealthCare.gov’s sign-up season doesn’t seem to be attracting as many new customers this year – 8 to 9% fewer than last year – but it’s too early to draw any definitive conclusions as the sign-up deadlines take a lot of enrollment determine.
Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is different this time around, as it is an early test of President Joe Biden’s idea that the US can get coverage for all by building on existing programs.
When is the open registration period for 2022?
Wednesday is the first of two deadlines for reporting on HealthCare.gov, with more financial support available through Biden’s Coronavirus Aid Act. Americans who want to sign up, change, or upgrade their Marketplace health coverage for 2022 have until December 15 for coverage, which begins January 1.
However, the last chance to register for the 2022 exchange is January 15 for coverage, which will take effect on February 1st.
Some states that do not use the federal marketplace and instead have state programs have extended their open registration deadlines. Currently, 33 states are serviced by the federal HealthCare.gov website. The remaining states and Washington, DC are running their own registration campaigns, and some of these states have extended their open registration deadlines. So check the deadline for your state.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommend that procrastinators report to their community by midnight local time on the deadline.
What if I am already registered with healthcare.gov?
If you are already enrolled and satisfied with your current tariff, you do not need to do anything else. Your current plan will automatically renew for 2022 and you will receive a notification from healthcare.gov stating which plan you signed up for.
However, if you do receive an Incentive Tax Credit, be sure to update your income and family information to see how much grant you may receive for the coming year as a result of the new incentives. Even if circumstances haven’t changed, new insurers may have entered the market or expanded their scope of services by 2022, which could affect the amount of the tax credit for the next annual plan.
Approximately 91% of US citizens are currently covered by a mix of employer, public, and individual plans, but 28 million people remain uninsured even in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most would be eligible for taxpayer subsidized coverage, and surveys show that many are simply not aware of this.
To preview the plans and prices for 2022 on the federal marketplace, click here.
Can I still have health insurance if I miss the open enrollment period?
If you missed the enrollment deadline, there is still the option to qualify for a Special Enrollment Deadline (SEP) which allows you to apply for health insurance if you have experienced a qualifying life event. Qualifying life events can be:
- Loss of health insurance due to a job.
- Household changes such as marriage, divorce, death in the family, or the birth of a child.
- Moving to a new home in a new zip code, county, or state.