Add Insurance to Your Holiday Shopping List
The holidays are here, and like many of us, you’re making a list or two these days. Coincidentally, this time of year ushers in another “holiday”: Open Enrollment for Medicare and coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If you or a loved one is “shopping” for health care, we’re at the ready to help give the gift of health with some information about the programs and news of potential changes.
For individuals eligible for Medicare, Medicare Open Enrollment began on October 15 and closes on December 7. Open enrollment for coverage under the Affordable Care Act ends December 15. While health care plans change from year-to-year, this year may usher in changes that are particularly significant: a pending case before the Supreme Court may reverse the mandate that all Americans, even those with pre-existing conditions, must be eligible for health care insurance—a ruling in the case of California v. Texas is expected from the U.S. Supreme Court next year.
Last year, 11.4 million Americans signed up for coverage during the open enrollment period and this year the number is expected to rise given that an estimated 20 million Americans lost their jobs during the pandemic. While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) does offer some assistance in navigating the health care process, this influx in cases and cuts in funding make health care shopping even more important than in years past.
If you or a loved one is one of those affected by job loss after open enrollment, take comfort in knowing you are eligible for a grace period of up to 60 days after a job loss to find new coverage, and there are ways to lower health care bills through tax credits.
More than 180 new private insurers have entered the marketplace this year, according to HHS. This variety provides consumers with a degree of bargain shopping, that is, consumers may compare plans, costs and coverage to find insurance that fits their circumstances and budget. It’s important to note that monthly premiums have dropped for the third consecutive year since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, and subsidies and tax credits are available for those in need.
We’re here and happy to assist however we can. Contact our team to discuss your circumstances or needs to be sure you have a happy—and healthy—holiday season.