Many things have happened for Chicagoans since the government started the open enrollment on October 1st, 2013. The website started off really rough with glitches and account problems. They even quoted the wrong premiums and gave false tax credits. All of which is outside of your control as the policyholder. If you still have to decide on a new plan, there is still time, but not much, before the deadline.
The original deadline for the first open enrollment was December 15, 2013. Due to continued problems with the program and website issues, they extended it to December 23, 2013. As policyholders continue to receive their cancellation letters, the government, or HHS, has extended the deadline to December 31, 2013.
Even those who had pre-existing conditions and were on a separate plan because they were not able to get insurance from the open market, have been extended coverage by another 30 days. For those who had switched already, this created a financial problem if they were on auto debit with the insurance plan. Nonetheless, they extended coverage to give you a little more time. If you take advantage of this 30-day extension, you cannot request a January 1, 2014 start date. The second open enrollment opens when the first one finally ends - December 31, 2013 - and ends March 31, 2014.
Please note: The only reason someone should go to the state or federal website to enroll is if you, the policyholder, qualify AND want to receive a tax credit to reduce your insurance premiums. That is it. Period. There is no other reason to be questioned intensely about your family and income and share more information that is what is needed to apply for the health plan.
Also note: Many insurance agents, that were motivated enough, had gone through the federal training to assist, consult and help you implement a health insurance plan for you and your family. At the time of this writing, there has not been an insurance agent that has charged for their services on an individual or family basis. Insurance agents are compensated by the insurance companies for assisting you and being there to consult, advise and answer questions. It’s a Win-Win for you and the insurance company.
With the recent extension, it gives you more time to review your options. But the clock is ticking; tick, tock…
The holidays are a time for family and friends. It will be hard to get back to something that is confusing and not the first thing on your list for the holiday season. This is a good reason to find a good insurance agent to help you take care of those details that you are not sure about or do not want to handle. After all, it will give you more time enjoy the holidays.
The law is definitely forcing you to move and make a change. No one likes change. We can buck the system all we want. The law is the law of the land and we need to make an informed decision. But we do not have much time. At the time of this writing, the deadline is December 31, 2013 for a January 1, 2014 start date.
Since there is not a whole lot of time, you must note that your first month’s premium is due on or before December 31, 2013 to activate your new policy for January 1, 2014. This is important so there is no gap in coverage.
After the dust settles, we can move on in 2014 with our new health insurance plans. But just like the holidays, we have to get through the planning and visiting in order to get to the New Year. Do not delay; the end of the year is just around the corner.