NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Ends Dec. 15

Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Ends Dec. 15


            Carrie Johnson, NDSU Extension Service personal and family finance specialist, reminds us that the period when people can enroll in a health insurance plan for 2018 through the Affordable Care Act ends Dec. 15, 2017.


            Outside the open enrollment period, you generally can enroll in a health insurance plan only if you experience certain qualifying life events, such as getting married, having a baby or losing other health coverage.  Job-based plans may have different open enrollment periods, so check with your employer.  You can enroll in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) any time of year.


            The current open enrollment period is shorter than in previous years, so people need to shop and compare the plans available to them as soon as possible.  Those who don't select a plan by Dec. 15 will be re-enrolled automatically in their current plan or a similar one if that plan has been discontinued.


            Here are some tips for enrolling through the 2018 Marketplace:


  • Go to www.healthcare.gov to get a quick overview of the Marketplace.
  • Make sure you have everything you need before you apply. Gather the following items now so you won't need to log in or call back several times to complete your application:


  • Information about your household size
  • Home and mailing addresses of everyone for whom you are applying for coverage
  • Social Security numbers and dates of birth
  • Employer, income information and how you file your taxes
  • Estimate of what your income will be in 2018
  • Policy numbers of current health insurance plan
  • A completed “Employer Coverage Tool” (available at HealthCare.gov/downloads/employer-coverage-tool.pdf)

  • If you already have 2017 Marketplace coverage, review your current application to make sure it's up to date and report any life changes.
  • Know what you’re looking for in a plan before you apply.


            If you have questions, call 1-800-318-2596 or find someone locally at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov who can assist you.

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