The Affordable Care Act is often better known by its nickname, ObamaCare, for President Obama’s pioneering efforts to bring affordable health care to all Americans. No matter what you choose to call it, getting enrolled for healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s Healthcare Marketplace is a fairly simple and straightforward process.
We have created this informative guide to make accessing affordable health care for you and your family even easier. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through each step of the application process from determining your individual healthcare needs, to navigating the Healthcare Marketplace.
Keep reading to get a better understanding of your healthcare options, and get started with your own “ObamaCare” health coverage.
Steps To Take Before Enrollment
There are a few steps that you can take prior to enrolling to make the process of getting health insurance through the Affordable Act Healthcare Marketplace even easier.
Before you begin the enrollment process it is a good idea to do some preliminary research to familiarize yourself with the various healthcare coverage options available to you through the Healthcare Marketplace, employer-sponsored healthcare coverage, and private insurance providers.
Take the time to review your personal, and family finances, and jot out a simple budget so that you have a general idea of how much you can afford to pay for health insurance coverage. As a general rule of thumb, the average monthly health insurance premium can range in price from as low as $0 to as much as $600 or more for individuals. It is important to note that the monthly premium may not cover additional out-of-pocket costs for medical procedures that are excluded from health care coverage by certain health insurers.
Having a solid understanding of your current financial status will make it easier to determine if you and your family are able to qualify for a health insurance subsidy based on your projected income levels. You can use the adjusted gross income (AGI) from your last tax return as a starting point for estimating your eligibility and gaining a better understanding of the various options that are available to help you find affordable healthcare coverage for yourself, and your family members.
The ObamaCare Open Enrollment Period
The application process for ObamaCare, or Affordable Care Act health insurance coverage occurs during select open enrollment periods. The open enrollment period is a 45-day window of time that occurs each year when all Americans are able to log in to the marketplace and enroll in the healthcare coverage that is right for them.
At the time of this writing, the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare open enrollment period is scheduled to begin on the 1st of November and continue through January 15th of each calendar year. Enrollments that are processed during the open enrollment period will have an effective date of January 1st, of the same calendar year. The dates set for the ObamaCare open enrollment period are subject to change and may vary in certain states. Be sure to visit HealthCare.gov or your individual state healthcare authority to ensure that you have the most accurate and up-to-date information for your particular location.
In addition to the ObamaCare open enrollment period, there are regular special enrollment periods that allow for enrollment during, or after the occurrence of certain qualifying life events such as the loss of employer-sponsored healthcare coverage, or the addition of a new family member due to marriage, adoption, or the birth of a child.
ObamaCare Eligibility Requirements
ObamaCare is available to all US citizens. There may be different individual eligibility requirements for different Healthcare Marketplace plans, however, there is a plan option for all US citizens on HealthCare.gov.
ObamaCare eligibility is open to select non-US citizens as well. Non-US citizens who have permanent residency status in the US, or are green card holders are also eligible for ObamaCare insurance coverage. Refugees, asylum seekers, individuals with temporary protected status (TPS), individuals with worker visas, and individuals with student visas may qualify for ObamaCare coverage as well.
Non-US citizens who wish to apply for ObamaCare healthcare coverage should be prepared to provide supporting documents to verify their immigration status such as a valid Green Card, foreign passport, or employment authorization form.
The ObamaCare Enrollment Process
ObamaCare is available primarily through the Healthcare Marketplace at HealthCare.gov. To apply for ObamaCare, you will need to visit a Coverage2Care agent during the open enrollment window, or whenever a qualifying life event has occurred. While it is recommended that Healthcare Marketplace plans be purchased through HealthCare.gov, there are alternative methods for obtaining Obamacare. That being said working with a Coverage2Care agent in person will help you insure you are not missing any documents and it is completed correctly.
When we enroll in ObamaCare you will be walked through a step-by-step application process where you will be required to provide basic information like your full name, address, household size, and projected household income.
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