10 Reasons to Sign Up (or Re-up) for Health Coverage
It's that time of year! Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace started November 1. Millions of women have enrolled in health coverage through the Marketplace, but there are still too many who are uninsured. If your job doesn't offer insurance, you are not on your parent's plan, you've recently turned 26, or you need coverage for any other reason, now is the time to sign up. And if you have a 2016 Marketplace plan, now is the time to update your information and re-enroll!
Here are 10 reasons why you should sign up — or re-up — for health coverage for 2017!
- Everyone needs to go to the doctor. Whether it's for an annual checkup, a broken bone, a mammogram, or the first sore throat of the season, everyone has to see a doctor at some point. Marketplace plans cover 10 essential health benefits, like doctor visits, prescriptions, mental health services, and services for pregnant women and their newborn babies.
- Women have unique health care needs. That's why 15 other services and screenings for women are also available at no additional cost, whether or not you've met your deductible (the amount you pay for covered services before your insurance plan starts to pay). Pap tests? Covered. Birth control? Covered. HIV test? Covered.
- You've had a birthday. Getting older means taking responsibility for your own health coverage. Maybe you've turned 26 and can no longer be on your parents' insurance. You need to get covered, even when you're young and healthy.
- You may save money. Besides saving money in medical bills if something happens to you while you're uninsured, you may qualify for a tax credit or a discount that lowers the amount you have to pay for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. You can even find out if you qualify for these savings before you enroll. Most HealthCare.gov consumers will be able to select a plan for less than $75 per month.
- Plans change. If your current health coverage is no longer working for you, check out what's available on the Marketplace. And if you already have Marketplace coverage, be sure to update your info at HealthCare.gov and see whether there's a better plan for you out there. Last year, people who switched Marketplace plans saved an average of $42 per month, or about $500 annually.
- Jobs change. If you've recently lost your insurance because of a change in employment, now is the time to sign up for Marketplace coverage. And if your income went up this year, be sure to update your info at HealthCare.gov to make sure that your current plan is still right for you.
- Applications change, too. The application process is simpler, faster, and easier to complete than ever before. New features make it easier to compare plans based on physician networks, prescription drug coverage, and out-of-pocket costs.
- It'll cost you if you don't have coverage. If you can afford coverage but choose not to have it, you'll have to pay a penalty fee as part of your taxes. The fee is calculated two different ways — either as a percentage of your household income or per person. You'll pay whichever is higher.
- You need to renew every year. Some health insurance companies will automatically re-enroll customers, but some won't. And even if yours does, you'll want to update your income and household info for 2017 to make sure your current plan is still the best one for you and that you're getting any tax credits you might qualify for. Don't leave money on the table!
- It's always better to be safe than sorry! Crossing your fingers that you won't get sick is no way to take care of your health, especially when one serious injury could bankrupt you or your family. Getting health coverage is the safer bet.
Open Enrollment began November 1! Don't wait to get the coverage you need to stay healthy. Visit HealthCare.gov to get started!