It’s surprising to find out a lot of people don’t realize that individuals not offered health insurance from their employers (or their family member’s employer) have a fixed period of time to buy health insurance or to make changes to their existing policy for the upcoming calendar year. If you miss the window, you won’t be able to pick up coverage that covers pre-existing conditions, for example, until this same time next year, effective January 2021. So, what are you waiting for?
Open enrollment for on-marketplace plans begins on November 1, 2019, although there are some people who can purchase insurance starting October 1st . We all know health insurance is important. If you find yourself uninsured because your employer does not offer health insurance and frankly, you just can’t afford the age-based premium, we can assure you finding yourself on the losing end of an unexpected $89,000 hospital bill is no fun.
Did you know that an estimated two million Floridians eligible for the federal advance premium tax credit designed to offset the cost of health insurance are not taking advantage of the program? Unfortunately, many people believe that they earn too much or are not eligible because they’ve been offered COBRA, but that is often not really the case. While each situation is unique, the basics are these: the tax credit is offered to individuals who:
- Are not offered health insurance from an employer and
- Earn enough to file a tax return but have household incomes that are less than 40% of the federal poverty limit.*
Self-employed individuals like small business owners, realtors, and independent sub-contractors in the construction industry as well as seasonal or part-time employees not offered benefits by an employer often assume they make either too much or not enough money to qualify for the credit. It has been my experience that these same people incorrectly calculate their income. Additionally, these same people also incorrectly assume this is somehow affiliated with Medicaid or some sort of handout, so they refuse to have a discussion with a trained and well-informed health insurance agent, much to their own detriment.
If you’re uninsured and you haven’t recently checked your options, if you’re navigating the purchasing of health insurance on your own without an agent thereby possibly leaving money on the table, reach out to Peoples First Insurance for more information. While we are pretty sure dealing with health insurance isn’t anyone’s favorite thing, we can assure you that you’ll be grateful for it if you find yourself needing it.
*This is an oversimplification and does not cover every possible scenario. All individuals are encouraged to discuss their unique situation with a trained agent and eligibility is ultimately determined by the federal government upon submission of a completed health insurance application.