Open Enrollment: What should Millennials keep in mind?
Open enrollment is a stressful time period.
One big reason for this is that it’s such a new way of obtaining insurance. Generally, our parents/guardians can walk us through a process because they’ve done it enough times to be comfortable with the system. But the ACA’s open enrollment procedures are new for all of us.
Basically, there isn’t much of precedence for the whole open enrollment thing, which is especially daunting if just signing up for health insurance is new to you in the first place!
But, don’t let the novelty of the ACA’s open enrollment freak you out. There are tons of resources and ways to ease yourself through the process.
What does “Open Enrollment” mean?
“Open Enrollment” refers to the time period within which you must register for health insurance. Open enrollment spans from November 1, 2015 until January 31, 2016. Generally it is impossible to register outside of this period, so it’s really important that you take the time to do so. If you miss the slot, you’ll be uninsured until next year AND likely have to pay a fine.
However, if you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that there are some exceptions to this open enrollment period. If you’ve turned 26 since last year’s open enrollment period, or you have some other qualifying life circumstance, there are ways for you to register (or decline insurance, if you qualify for Medicaid in a state that didn’t expand funding).
Health Insurance registration is super easy and accessible.
With the convenience of healthcare.gov, there’s really no reason to fret. It’s virtually as easy as taking a Buzzfeed quiz (and in some cases it’s actually quicker!). I went through the process a handful of times to make sure that I was doing it right, and I could register in under 10 minutes. It’s really that easy.
Since millennials are generally so technologically adept, it’s kind of like healthcare,gov was made for us. All you have to do is go to the website and follow the instructions. A few clicks later, and you’ll be answering questions and on your way to coverage!
There is so much help available!
There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of resources that can help walk you through open enrollment and Marketplace registration, and even more insurance professionals whose job it is to help you through this.
And, it’s also good to know that you do have options, even if I’m making it sound like you have to go through healthcare.gov. In reality you can go through your state’s Marketplace site, directly to a provider, or have a lovely insurance professional do all the work for you!
When it comes down to it—you’ve just gotta do it!
Since failing to register for health insurance will earn you a fine, AND since health insurance is just inherently valuable in today’s society, you kind of need to bite the bullet and get started!
So, I hope we’re all feeling more comfortable with the idea of jumping into the Marketplace! You have about 1 ½ months left., which is plenty of time! You might even find registering through the Marketplace to be a ~super fun~ study break during finals… right?