Covered California operates its annual Open Enrollment period from November 1 through January 31. We’re about halfway through the Open Enrollment season now, but we’re all getting busy with holiday parties and family gatherings. It could be easy to forget about your health insurance needs!
It’s common to put off important decisions until the last moment, but that’s generally a bad idea. We’re all just one illness or personal emergency away from letting the big things slide completely, so go ahead and get started with the Open Enrollment process now.
In case you need a refresher course, the following are just some of the reasons to enroll in, or review, your health care plan for 2016.
Protect yourself financially. Just one accident could spawn hundreds of thousand co-pays – a tiny percentage of that amount, by comparison.
You’re probably eligible for a subsidy. If you don’t have health insurance already, it might be because you think you can’t afford it. But with nearly 90 percent of California residents qualifying for a subsidy, there is a good chance your health insurance will cost less than you imagine. If you already have a health insurance plan, you should still log into the system and you should update your financial information anyway. If your subsidy is overpaid you might have to repay it later, so make sure all of your information is up to date.
Avoid a paying the Individual Mandate penalty. In 2016, the penalty for failing to enroll in health insurance coverage can be as much as $2,085. In many cases, it’s cheaper to go ahead an enroll in at least a Bronze-level plan.
Remember, you have until January 31 to enroll in health insurance, in order to have coverage for 2016. Get started now, so that you aren’t rushed to make important decisions at the last minute.