Open enrollment period begins: Apply for 2022 health coverage

The Affordable Care Act facilitates a number of healthcare benefits to provide easy access to health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans.

open enrollment
Open Enrollment starts on November 1, 2021, and goes on till January 15, 2022. Some states that have their own ACA exchanges have different date ranges for special enrollment periods. To qualify for applying during the special enrollment period, you will need a qualifying life event.

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The open enrollment period for 2022 health coverage will start on November 1, 2021, and run all the way till January 15, 2022. Starting this year, Americans will be able to take an additional 30 days to review their health plan options and choose the one they want.

The move is a bid to help people sign up for affordable and quality healthcare plans. This reduces the current health disparities among various communities. The Joe Biden-Kamala Harris camp is trying to make the process easier through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 

When is open enrollment for 2022? 

For 2022, the Open Enrollment period starts on November 1, 2021. It will end on January 15, 2022. For some states, the period ends on December 15, 2021, while for some it ends on December 31, 2021, and for others, it is January 31, 2022. The difference in dates is due to states having ACA exchanges. They have different ending dates for the 2021 Special Enrollment period. 

What is the ACA?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the healthcare program signed into law by former President Barack Obama in March 2010. Previously called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it was also colloquially known as Obamacare. The ACA facilitates a number of healthcare benefits to provide easy access to health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans.

What the act does is expand the horizon of Medicaid eligibility, especially for low-income families who could not qualify for it earlier. Through the ACA, you can easily qualify for health insurance for your family. You can access a range of essential health benefits that were earlier denied by insurance companies due to pre-existing health conditions.

Can you get healthcare coverage if you miss the deadline?

If you miss applying for a healthcare plan within the last date set for enrollment in your state, you may still be able to get one. See if you are eligible to apply for a healthcare plan under the special enrollment period. The qualifying life events that will make you eligible for this include the following: 

  • Any change in your home address.
  • If you lose your health insurance due to a job. 
  • Any changes in your household including death, marriage, divorce, a new baby, etc. 

If you are eligible to apply during the special enrollment period, you have to do so within 60 days. However, if you fail to apply within these 60 days, you will have to wait. You can apply for an individual health insurance policy in the next open enrollment period for 2022. 

Even then if you don’t qualify for the special enrollment period, your next best option is to apply for a short-term health insurance policy. You can purchase these insurance policies outside the open enrollment period. Keep in mind that short-term plans don’t cover pre-existing illnesses. So, they may be best suited only for fit and healthy people. 

Take a look at all the insurance plans available to you online. Review them and choose the one that suits your needs best. For more information and to know when you can enroll in your state, visit healthcare.gov.

This page is purely informational. Line does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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