The Importance of Affordable Health Insurance Outside of the Open-Enrollment Period

Affordable health insurance is vital because it ensures that you and those close to you are covered during unexpected events. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital visits have increased. Also, Jacksonville, Florida, is a growing hub of a city, and serious auto accidents are becoming more consistent. Medical costs are already expensive, but having cost-effective health insurance will protect you from gouged prices, lessening the financial burden on you and your family.

The passing of the 2010 Affordable Care Act revolutionized the health insurance market. The Act created a 45-day open enrollment window to apply for both private and individual plans. This period of each year is when you can start, stop, or change your affordable health insurance plan.

The purpose of the open enrollment period is to prevent adverse selection. Adverse selection is when people at risk of illness only apply for health care, while healthier individuals do not. This leaves an imbalance in the healthcare industry because health insurance companies would not make enough money in premiums to pay for only sick members. Therefore, to keep health insurance affordable, healthy and sick-prone individuals need to apply for health care during a specific period, not just at their leisure or when they abruptly “need” it.

Unfortunately, some Jacksonville residents may have missed the annual Open-Enrollment period for affordable health coverage, given it ended on December 15, 2020. However, you may still qualify for a temporary Special Enrollment Period because of triggering life events.

Triggering events could be tangible or intangible, and they include:

  • Gaining a Dependent
  • Gaining Citizen Status
  • Loss of Group Coverage
  • Marriage or Divorce
  • Loss of Medicaid or Medicare
  • Having or Adopting a Child
  • Permanently Relocating Somewhere with Different Health Insurance Options
  • Involuntary Cancelation of your Plan by your Insurance Company
  • Having a Change in Income that Changes Your Eligibility for Tax Credits or Cost-Sharing Reductions
  • Having a Change in Household Status that Changes Your Eligibility for Tax Credits or Cost-Sharing Reductions
  • Aging Off Your Parents Insurance

Once triggered, this special enrollment period typically lasts anywhere from 30-60 days, depending on individual market or employment market coverage. During this time, you will still have access to the same plans as during the open enrollment period, such as dental and vision, copay plans, Health Savings Account (HSA)-compatible plans, and a Young Adult plan.

If you miss this special enrollment period to apply for affordable health care, you must wait for the next open enrollment period.

Looking For Help Finding the Best Affordable Health Care Plans in Jacksonville, Florida?

Our specialized agents at Thomas & Associates understand that insurance is not a “one size fits all” kind of deal. Here, we are trained to understand our client’s unique circumstances to find the health care plan that fits them, their family, or their business best, at the most affordable price. They can help you understand if you qualify to apply for coverage due to a triggering event and can walk you through the process of applying.

If you have any questions about health care plans, triggering events, special enrollment, or anything else of the sort, please visit our health insurance page or contact us at 904-730-3900.


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