Business News

As open enrollment begins for the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace, here’s what you need to know for 2024

For millions of people, it is time to compare services and prices and choose health coverage on the market. Health Insurance Marketplaces Under the Affordable Care Act.

Registration open on these plans began on November 1 and generally lasts until January 15, although this is extended until January 16, 2024 due to a federal holiday.

Enrollments have set records in each of the past four years, thanks in part to increased premium tax credits that were extended through 2025, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (PPCB).

As of February, 15.6 million people had enrolled in an ACA marketplace plan for 2023 and paid the first month’s premium, according to the nonpartisan Research and Policy Institute.

Learn more about end-of-year planning

Here’s a look at what to do about your finances as the end of the year approaches:

Enrollment will likely remain high this year, according to Jennifer Sullivan, director of health coverage access at CBPP.

“People can continue to get very robust assistance to cover the cost of premiums,” Sullivan said.

Additionally, as some people are about to lose their Medicaid coverage or Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage, they may need to switch to marketplace coverage.

People who lost coverage through these plans and turn to the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace will benefit from a special enrollment period until the end of next July, Sullivan noted.

Importantly, this special enrollment period also allows them to enroll and begin their coverage before January.

However, for anyone looking to enroll in a marketplace health plan for next year, it’s best to try to do so as soon as possible.

In states that use the marketplace, you’ll need to sign up by Dec. 15 to ensure you’re covered by Jan. 1, according to Louise Norris, a health policy analyst at which provides consumers with educational resources about health insurance.

If you wait until January to sign up, your coverage won’t take effect until February 1, she noted.

“Tell yourself the deadline is Dec. 15,” Norris said, “and try to get it done by then, just to have a full year of coverage.”

How to research your options

It’s important that people know they can get free help to understand their options.

Jennifer Sullivan

Director of Access to Health Coverage at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Searching can also help you find a list of brokers, navigators, and listing advisors that are both state licensed and exchange certified.

Navigators are often best for complicated households, such as those where some family members are Medicaid eligible while others are marketplace eligible, according to Sullivan.

“It’s important for people to know they can get free help understanding their options,” Sullivan said.

This free help can include help filling out applications and understanding questions asked by professionals not affiliated with insurance companies, she noted.

Your coverage choices may change

While it may be tempting to automatically renew your current exchange plan, which is possible in most cases, there are reasons to review your coverage, Norris said.

“It’s still better to choose your own plan,” she said.

About 13 states will see new carriers enter the market by 2024, she said. Meanwhile, Virginia will launch a new exchange next year.

“One of these new plans might be a good option for you,” Norris said. “And you won’t know it if you just let your plan roll over and don’t go in and actively look.”

If your health has changed, especially if you want access to certain doctors or prescription medications, it’s also wise to research your options. Also be sure to pay attention to how much deductibles you’ll have to pay, she said.

You may be eligible for savings

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button