The New American Rescue Plan Subsidies Offer a New Opportunity to Find a More Affordable Health Insurance Plan
If you still need a health insurance plan for 2021, or if you need to find a plan with lower premiums, then LISTEN UP:
Because health insurance subsidies have increased and are available to more people, you can now sign up for a new plan any time until August 15th. After that, you won’t be able to get health insurance coverage in force until January 1st.
Here’s what you need to know:
Q: When is health insurance Open Enrollment in Colorado?
A: Normally, the Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period lasts from November 1st to December 15th. In some states (Colorado usually included) this period is extended for an additional month to January 15th.
Anyone who doesn’t sign up for health insurance during this time has to wait another year to get coverage. (There are Special Enrollment Periods for certain life events, like getting married to changing jobs.)
Q: Was health insurance Open Enrollment extended in Colorado?
A: After the American Rescue Act was passed, a new opportunity became available to anyone who is not yet signed up, or who will save money because of these new subsidies.
Q: If I buy a plan now, when will it go into effect?
Whether you are switching plans or enrolling for the first time, your new coverage will go into effect on the first day of the following month.
For example, if you sign up for a plan on March 15th, 2021, it will not become active until April 1st, 2021.
Using Open Enrollment to find a better health insurance plan
Across Colorado and the United States, a lot of people are adjusting to big life changes. Whether you’ve lost your job due to the pandemic, had your hours cut, or changed jobs, your old health insurance plan might not be working for you anymore.
The American Rescue plan has opened up an opportunity to save hundreds or event thousands of dollars on your health insurance. That could be better coverage options, or lower premiums. Tell your Personal Benefits Manager what your goal is, and they’ll present you with the plans that “fit the bill”.
You may qualify for a valuable health insurance subsidy
Because premiums are capped at no more than 8.5% of your income (and even less for people who earn less), you could qualify for a big ACA subsidy that can make your health insurance way more affordable. If you earn less than 250% of FPL, your premiums and deductibles will be even lower.
Don’t qualify for a subsidy? Need something more affordable? Consider Health Care Cost Sharing
If you haven’t heard me recommending healthshare plans, then you haven’t been paying attention. These low-cost medical programs are giving Coloradoans a viable way to ditch health insurance altogether, while still staying protected.
Healthshare plans are about 50% of the cost of unsubsidized insurance. This makes them a great option for anyone who earns too much to qualify for the ACA subsidy. Health sharing is also a way for healthy people to benefit from not using their coverage that much.
These days, it’s even possible to pair a healthshare plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA). And there’s no enrollment periods; You can enroll in a health sharing plan anytime of year.
Schedule a free strategy session with your Personal Benefits Manager
If you still need health insurance, or if you want to learn more about Health Sharing Plans, give us a call. A short, no-cost meeting with your Personal Benefits Manager can get you all squared away for 2021, whether your goal is to save money or beef up your coverage options.
Want to get right down to business? Click here to compare health insurance rates for the Colorado Special Enrollment Period.
Here are some additional articles on Colorado health insurance: Hey Colorado: There’s Still Time to Get Affordable Health Insurance for 2021 | What is the Best Health Insurance in Colorado?
Wiley Long is the president of ColoHealth, and has been in the health insurance industry since 1987. He received his master’s degree in nutrition and exercise science at Colorado State University, and is passionate about individual healthcare freedom. Read more about Wiley on his Bio page.