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Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace

Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace

November 15, 2021

As a reminder, the 2021 Open Enrollment Period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace is November 1 through December 15, 2020. Anyone looking to enroll, re-enroll or opt of out of private health, vision and dental insurance plans for 2021 must do so during this time period. After the period closes, changes can only be made by those who experience a qualifying life event such as marriage, birth of a child or job loss.

What is the marketplace? The Affordable Care Act of 2010 mandated that all Americans must be enrolled in health insurance. The marketplace platform was created as a means for individuals, families and small businesses to acquire affordable health insurance. Until 2019, anyone without coverage was forced to pay an Individual Shared Responsibility Payment, this fee has since been abolished allowing Americans to opt out of health insurance without being penalized.

Eligibility - Many get health insurance through an employer’s group health insurance plan, Medicare or Medicaid. If you don’t fall within the qualifications of obtaining insurance through these three methods, you have the option to buy private insurance through the marketplace. Anyone who has recently retired, turned 26, become unemployed or self-employed, started working part-time or started a business with employees is more likely to want or need private coverage.

Re-enrollment - If you’re currently enrolled in private insurance through the marketplace and take no action, you’ll be automatically re-enrolled into your current plan. Be aware that some of the coverage options provided and their costs vary year-to-year. Be sure to examine the types of coverage available for 2021, in order to choose one that offers the features you need at the best price.

Opting Out - Though the Affordable Care Act no longer requires Americans to have health insurance coverage, before opting out consider the potential cost-savings an insurance plan can have. Medical bills from illness and accidents can be catastrophic to finances. Also, you can take advantage of routine preventative care which helps to uncover problems early, before they get more expensive. These are important to consider if you’re weighing the pros and cons of going without coverage.

You can find answers to questions about the process, eligibility, special life event enrollment periods and how to update your application for coverage at If you need help determining how choosing coverage or foregoing it will impact your long-term retirement plan, let’s find some time to talk. If you know of anyone who may be needing to secure individual health insurance, please feel free to send this along to them!


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