Right now, the second open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act is under way. If you need to change your insurance or have yet to sign up, you have until December 15 to acquire coverage that will begin January 1.
As my colleague Emily Cadik has explained, anyone can sign up. It’s worth setting up an account and taking a look at your options. Happy with your current plan? Great! But if you signed up in the initial enrollment period or if you want to see if you can get a better deal, head on over to the marketplace and get shopping.
So far, over 1 million people have applied for insurance on the website.
The New York Times reports that over three times as many people selected health plans in the first week of open enrollment this month than in all of October and November of 2013. They break down the numbers further:
- Of those selecting plans, 48 percent — about 222,000 people — are new to the federal marketplace or have had coverage that had been terminated for various reasons, such as failing to pay premiums. The other 52 percent — about 240,000 people — had coverage this year and signed up for insurance in 2015 with the same insurer or a different one.
This holiday weekend is also a good time to check in with relatives, make sure everyone has coverage, and answer questions or serve as a resource — especially for the less technologically adept members of your family.
Enrollment stays open until February 15, but if you want to be covered by January 1, you need to sign up by December 15. And as they say, shop early and avoid the rush — deadlines mean longer wait times if you need to call a hotline for help or visit a navigator.
So when you’re putting together your Black Friday shopping list, make time to go online and check out deals on the one must-have item for every American this year: health insurance!