Feelin’ 26: Entering the Marketplace for the First Time

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Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, you’re on your own for insurance noooowwww, happy birthday to you!

 Entering the Marketplace

Entering the Marketplace

CRC Capital Group, Inc.

If you recently hit the ripe age of 26, this was probably all you could think as you blew out your candles this year. Or maybe I’m just a nerd?

Entering the Marketplace

If you’re like me and aren’t covered by a parent, you’ve already taken the steps to enter the Marketplace before your 26th birthday, so this post isn’t for you (but you can read it anyways! It’s a good one!).

Entering the Marketplace

But if you are in fact covered by a parent’s plan when you turn 26, you’ll most likely fall into one of the following situations:

A)  You’re covered through a parent’s Marketplace plan. In this case you can actually stay on       until December 31st of your 26th Even if your birthday’s in January 2015, you’re good         until December 2015.

B)  You’re covered by a parent’s job-based plan. In this situation, you’ll be covered just until       the end of your 26th birthday month.

 Entering the Marketplace

I’m in Group A, how do I enroll?

If you’re in Group A, you can enroll during open enrolment. If I turn 26 in September 2015, I just need to enroll in the Marketplace with everyone else between November 1st 2015 and January 31st 2016.

I’m in Group B, how do I enroll?

If you’re in Group B, you don’t have to wait for Open Enrolment (which is good, because if you have a January birthday, you don’t have to go months uninsured!). Life events, like turning 26, qualify you for what’s known as a Special Enrollment Period. When you fill out your Marketplace application, there will be a question asking whether you qualify for the Special Enrollment.

 Entering the Marketplace

What if there’s a lapse in my coverage as I’m switching off my parent’s?

If you are uninsured temporarily, you won’t get in trouble (remember, it’s a qualifying life event for that Special Enrollment Period!).

Entering the Marketplace

However, it is still a good idea to plan ahead. In most cases, if not all, you can arrange for your plan to start on a certain date, or at least within a certain period.

 Entering the Marketplace

If you don’t plan ahead, and you do have to go uninsured for, say, a month after you’re off your parent’s plan, any medical expenses will be out of pocket. Whether or not you think that you’re a young, healthy individual, accidents happen and people get sick. It’s a good idea to plan for the worst when it comes to insuring yourself.

So, moral of the story: If you’re turning 26, or you recently had your 26th birthday, and entering the Marketplace for the first time– pay attention to what type of coverage your parent(s) had you under. Depending on whether it was job-based or through the Marketplace, you have either until the end of the month or the end of the year to enter the Marketplace! Make sure to sign up either during the Marketplace Open Enrollment or during that Special Enrollment Period!

Entering the Marketplace

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