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What to Do Now If You Missed the Obamacare Deadline

The deadline for signing up for individual insurance under the Affordable Care Act has come and gone. The gates to Obamacare have swung shut, and if you didn’t get your paperwork done, you are locked out. So, what’s next?

If You Want Insurance

If you still want health insurance, you can probably get it. Private insurers are free to sell policies, the same as they did before Obamacare went into effect.

Some insurers are dropping out of that market, however. Under the Affordable Care Act, private insurers must comply with the law’s consumer protection provisions. For example, insurers can’t deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. That means insurers are going to pay out more in coverage, so if they stay in the individual-policy business, they’ll have to raise their rates or accept lower profits. Given those alternatives, many insurers are walking away from the business.

Still, if you want to buy an individual health insurance plan, you may qualify for a special open enrollment period if you have a qualifying life event that affects your health insurance needs. For example, qualifying life events include having a baby, getting married, getting a divorce, and moving to another state – among other things.

If You Qualify for Medicaid

Eligibility for Medicaid is based on income and it varies from state to state. In many states, more people qualify under expanded eligibility criteria. If you want insurance and you match Medicaid’s requirements, you can sign up anytime – there is no deadline.

If You Want to Take Advantage of Obamacare Exchanges

Tax credits and subsidies make it attractive to purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act framework. Get your paperwork ready early so you don’t miss the deadline this time.

by: Dan Seitz
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